From the author of the international bestseller Silk (“A riveting, lyrical love story” —Alan Cheuse, NPR) and the acclaimed Ocean Sea (“Astonishing . . . vividly erotic”—Richard Eder, Los Angeles Times) comes an entirely new species of fiction: a ...
es Times) comes an entirely new species of fiction: a panoramic Cartesian comic book of a novel—with superheroes, boxers, cowboys, and one bed-wetting prodigy expected to win the Nobel Prize.
Baricco’s wildly inventive story, set in the United States, describes the improbable relationship between two untethered souls: Gould, a thirteen-year-old genius, and Shatzy Shell, his thirtysomething governess. Except for each other, they abide beyond human connection, each in a private world of serial imagination: in Shatzy’s case, the violent Wild West show she has been improvising into a tape recorder since the age of six; in Gould’s, the mock-heroic tale of an underdog boxer, which the boy tells to his imaginary friends, a giant and a mute. With the narrative logic of a comic strip, City’s quicksilver prose flows unpredictably between the whimsy of childhood conjuring and the serpentine realm of metaphysics, cunningly reminding us how the imaginings of children can harbor the stuff of tragedy, while the grandest ideas of adults are often strictly for kids.
By turns hilarious and deeply sad, City is an American original, penned by a brilliant Italian.