by Alberto Moravia
This collection of 19 short stories, fables in fact, is by one of Italy’s greatest 2oth-century writers. It marked Moravia’s shift from describing the Roman bourgeoisie into Rome’s seedy slums; a world of spivs, lower working class, thieves and, well, assorted riff-raff. They are stories of emotional suspense, beguiling and magical. They tell a poignant tale of aspiration, love won and lost, and resignation; the problems of everyday life for all people. If you love short stories, you will adore these, for Moravia is the master of the short, short story.