WHO: Patricio Pron
WHAT: DON’T SHED YOUR TEARS FOR ANYONE WHO LIVES ON THESE STREETS, a novel
WHEN: Published by Knopf May 21, 2020
WHERE: The author lives in Madrid.
WHY: “Masterful intertwining of personal and historical storytelling…an uncomfortable resonance with today’s geopolitical theater.
“In this ambitious, erudite novel, Argentine writer Patricio Pron revisits similar themes to those in his English-language debut, My Fathers’ Ghost Is Climbing in the Rain: mystery, murder, and a fragmentary narrative.
“It’s Italy, 1977. Pietro Linden, a member of an unnamed activist organization, tails a fascist Fascist professor through the streets of Turin, until the latter’s untimely demise. When Linden retrieves the departed professor’s book order from a local shop, it leads him to interview attendees of a Fascist writers’ conference that took place in Mussolini’s Republic of Salò in 1945, at which the author Luca Borello died under mysterious circumstances…
“What results is a fascinating fictional take on the inseparable developments of fascism and modernity, and the intergenerational transformations of art and politics. A lengthy appendix includes biographical sketches of 60 real-life writers and literary figures who appear in the novel.” —Diego Baez, BOOKLIST
“Part suspense novel…part historical investigation.
The sins of the fathers are visited on the children in this pensive multigenerational novel.” —KIRKUS, a starred review
. . . . .
FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE BOOK:
A few yards ahead, the old professor’s back curves in such a way that it’s impossible to see the nape of his neck; the hollow in his jacket is due to that curvature and to his habit of leading with his head as he walks. Pietro or Peter Linden—also called “Pitz” and “Peeke,” though only by his mother—knows this is called “swan neck,” a deformity that can be corrected, because he had it as a child and his mother corrected it in the style of those times, by placing a stack of books on his head and making him walk around the house without the books falling. From behind, Pietro or Peter Linden can see only the tip of the old professor’s ears and, crowning his skull, a bit of white hair currently somewhat mussed by the wind. Winter seems to have come early and the city is subject to cold gusts— normal over much of the year—from the mountains surrounding Turin, which are already snowcapped. Pietro or Peter Linden knows the old professor well and doesn’t need more than one or two cues to identify him: the color of the jacket he’s wearing today, a leaden blue; or his hesitation when he extends his right foot, which Pietro or Peter Linden knows, because the old professor once told him in class (off the subject really) that it had had to be reconstructed after he got trapped in the collapse of a house where he and his wife were squatting in Milan during the last days of the war, which gave out when the building next to it, a school with some twenty-odd children locked inside, was hit by a grenade. This was enough for Linden to pick him out among the people gathered on the corner of Giuseppe Verdi and Gioacchino Rossino waiting for the traffic to thin enough to cross over to Corso San Maurizio and toward the river; a corner that Linden and the old professor had arrived at together—unbeknownst, of course, to the old professor— after leaving the university building and crossing the Via Fratelli Vasco, also together but with a certain distance between them.
. . . . .
Translated by Mara Faye Lethem.
304 pages. $26.95 ISBN 978-0-451-49317-0
To interview the author, contact: Josie Kals | 212-572-2565 | email@example.com