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By Ignazio Silone
Fontamara, the first novel in Ignazio Silone’s celebrated Abruzzo Trilogy, portrays the impoverished, embattled peasants (cafoni) in Abruzzo and their spirited yet doomed opposition to the ruthless expansion of fascism. Springing from the very soil of Silone’s experience, Fontamara soars to the heights of fable, with a seemingly mundane dispute over land and water rights inciting a rebellion against the injustice and oppression of the fascist social system and a sacrificial quest for the salvation of a community.
A visceral depiction of upheaval and desolation during the reign of Mussolini, potent in its simplicity and unforgettable for its tragedy, Fontamara is an account of fascism to “be read to its merciless end” (Graham Greene).
Ignazio Silone (1900–1978) was an Italian political leader and novelist. Achieving worldwide recognition during World War II for his forthright anti-Fascist novels, Silone received numerous awards over the course of his career, including the Premio Campiello, the Prix mondial Cino Del Duca, and the Jerusalem Prize, and was nominated ten times for the Nobel Prize for Literature.