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If You Kept a Record of Sins by Andrea Banjani

If You Kept a Record of Sins

Best Seller
If You Kept a Record of Sins by Andrea Banjani
Paperback $18.00
Mar 02, 2021 | ISBN 9781939810960

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“After years of gradually widening distance between them, a man learns some truths about his absent mother when he travels abroad to bury her and settle her business affairs…Bajani’s spare prose delivers startling imagery…as well as quiet reflection as Lorenzo addresses the departed Lula as he moves around her chosen home away from home….Bajani’s lovely, quiet novel lives at the intersection of love and misunderstanding.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

   • ”Andrea Bajani’s haunting portrait of a mother-son relationship accumulates with the quiet urgency of a snowstorm. The impact is shattering, pure. With themes of distance and dislocation at its heart, this celebrated novel by one of Italy’s most talented young writers now resonates in English thanks to Elizabeth Harris’ limpid translation.” — Jhumpa Lahiri
   • ”A beautiful, original, and deeply moving work of art. It would be a gift at any time in history and is all the more so now, as the world moves through one of its darker periods.” — Michael Cunningham
   • ”If You Kept a Record of Sins is written with grace and calm control. It deals with loss, especially the loss of a mother, with a chiseled sense of truth. Each image and each moment are captured with exquisite emotional accuracy. The connection between the past and the present is dramatized with skill. The protagonist is, like the author himself, someone on whom nothing is lost.” — Colm Tóibín
   • ”One of Italy’s greatest writers . . . An elegy, a requiem, a reckoning, a broken portrait of an absent mother, If You Kept a Record of Sins is a jewel of a book. You will hold it to your heart when you are done.” — Andrew Sean Greer, winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Less

   • Every search is a search for oneself. In Andrea Bajani’s novel, the search for the lost mother reveals not only the true protagonist of the story, but a scathing portrait of Western culture and its greed and selfish lust for power. Bajani has written a wise, lyrical, beautifully stylized book that clings for long in the reader’s memory. I couldn’t put it down. — Alberto Manguel
   • Borgesian brevity, a lesson in intensity. A book of rare beauty. — Enrique Vila-Matas
   • ”Writing such as this makes me happy again, and it gives me comfort, because it is itself a form of resistance.” — Antonio Tabucchi
   • ”What do you say to the dead, especially if the one who died is the one who bore you? This is the question Andrea Bajani wrestles with in this beautifully rendered letter from a son to his estranged mother. The story is woven together around a handful of central mysteries: who was this person, where did she go, what was left unsaid? The way is marked by a handful of enigmatic images: an egg you can climb inside, a palace you can see from the moon, a river you cross to take a photograph on the far bank, a photograph you will leave for your son, which will tell him all he needs to know.” — Nick Flynn
   • ”A short, stoic novel, of a realism reaching toward hallucination and a squalor leading to despair, a love letter and a requiem for an absent mother–Andrea Bajani’s If You Kept a Record of Sins is an unforgettable book. Together with the author, we wait, enthralled, for the break of dawn, when all the lights will go out.” — Mircea Cărtărescu
   • ”Part of a brilliant new generation of Italian writers that includes names like Paolo Giordano, Elena Ferrante, and Mirko Sabatino.” — Fernando Hernández Urías
   • ”Bajani is confirmed as a keen and sensitive traveler, one of the best Italian writers of the moment.” — Francis M. Cataluccio

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