Reading period: October 2012 – February 2013

For the first And Other Stories Italian reading group, we have chosen two unconventional and yet acclaimed contemporary writers, Sandro Veronesi and Carola Susani, and one of Italy’s greatest 20th-century novelists, Vasco Pratolini.

We Were Young Enough by Carola Susani is a dark tale about childhood; a Bildungsroman with echoes of the picaresque genre, in which the reader is invited to be “child enough” to forget his prejudices and find the deep essence of things.

XY by Sandro Veronesi could be defined a “symbolic thriller”. Writing about an absurd, seemingly inexplicable tragedy in a small town in the Alps, the author investigates evil, all-too-human fears and questions as well as the impossibility of finding a simple and definitive answer to them.

Tales of Poor Lovers by Vasco Pratolini was written in 1947, and it’s a classic of Italian Neoralism. This novel’s complex plot is made up of the intertwining stories of people living in Via del Corno, a tiny, working-class street in the old centre of Florence. The background is an Italy devastated by the violent struggle between fascism and a growing resistance movement.

We hope you’ll join us in reading the books. Add your comments to the author pages and we’d love to see you at our London meet-up if you can come. Follow the links below to read more about the authors and books.


How it works

  1. Extracts in English are being added to this website where possible – see the relevant author’s page. Copies of the books in the original Italian may be available to borrow from And Other Stories, who can also point you to other sources. Email saying which book you would like to read.
  2. Read the excerpts, then comment online via the author pages.
  3. Come to a meet-up (usually in London) to discuss what has been read. You can be sure of lively, well informed discussion.

Reading period

October 2012 – February 2013


We’ll be meeting at The Italian Bookshop (in The European Bookshop, 5 Warwick Street, London W1B 5LU). Our meetings will take place on the following dates:

Monday 15th October, 6,30 – 8 pm;

Wednesday 28th November, 6.45 – 8 pm, to discuss Carola Susani’s Eravamo bambini abbastanza (We Were Young Enough);

Monday 18th February, 6,45 – 8pm, to discuss Vasco Pratolini’s Cronache di poveri amanti (Tales of Poor Lovers).

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