THREE LIGHT YEARS

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Andrea Canobbio

Translated from the Italian by Anne Milano Appel

Trade paperback - Royal - 352pp - 03/12/2015 - £16.99 - 9780857054180

 

Cecilia and Claudio are doctors are the same hospital. They eat lunch together almost every day; they talk, sometimes even share secrets. Each is enmeshed in a complicated, painful relationship that has technically ended but isn't really over: she is newly separated, with two small children; he's stuck in the apartment building where he grew up, where his senile mother, not to mention his ex-wife and her new family, all still live. Cecilia and Claudio are attracted to each other: magnetically, powerfully. But life has taught them to treat that attraction with suspicion.

Then a chance encounter between Claudio and Cecilia's sister, Silvia, shifts the precarious balance of the relationship between the two colleagues. Claudio begins to recognize the damage caused by his wary stance toward everything around him. He has hidden a hunger for life and experience beneath a veneer of apathy, a mask that also conceals a deep well of anguish. And just when Cecilia comes to the realization that she loves Claudio and is ready to commit to a genuine relationship, fate steps in once again.

"Exhilaratingly passionate . . . Lush and meditative" NATHAN ENGLANDER

"Italo Calvino meets Paul Auster" BOYD TONKIN, Independent

"Andrea Canobbio's remarkable novel [. . .] avoids the obvious pitfalls, largely as a result of [Canobbio's] acuity and inventiveness, the specificity and density of his detail, the elegance of his style, and the depth of his psychological insight . . . This sort of fiction has consciousness as its subject, and Canobbio's ability to engage us in the consciousness of his characters is what keeps us enthralled" FRANCINE PROSE, New York Review of Books.

Elise Williams