Told in a spare and powerful voice reminiscent of Hemingway and Salinger, the three stories in Pietro Grossi’s Fists explore the rite of passage each of us faces in our youth and what it means to be a man in our time.
‘Boxing’, ‘Horses’ and ‘The Monkey’: three powerful coming-of-age stories about boys confronting reality, and fighting to stay alive in a man’s world. In ‘Fists’, a teenage amateur boxer steps into the ring for the first time, and finds himself in a face-off with Life in all its muscular force; in ‘Horses’, two brothers embark on their first forays into adulthood, each learning to play a man’s game in his own painful way; and in ‘The Monkey’, a young man realizes that in order to stay sane and survive in this world, we have to sacrifice our childhood dreams.
Published by Pushkin Press, Howard Curtis’s translation of Fists won the 2010 Premio Campiello Europa, and was shortlisted for the 2010 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.
‘There is more power and pathos in this short piece of spare, timeless prose than in most densely-written novels … All three tales are artful but seemingly effortless, a quality shared by Howard Curtis’s translation, which feels elegantly natural’
— Daniel Hahn, Independent
The greatest addition to Italian literature for a very long time’
— Il Dominicale
‘His passion for Hemingway, Faulkner and Philip Roth can be seen in this simple, precise and intense writing’
— Il Giornale
‘An outstanding debut’
— Giudizio Universale
‘A perfect book’
— Il Sole 24 Ore
Pietro Grossi, writer and translator, was born in 1978 in Florence and currently lives and works in Tuscany. His novel The Break is also available from Pushkin Press.