Salvatore Scibona: The End

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Salvatore Scibona The End
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    The End
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    Riverhead Books
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The End: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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An incredible debut and National Book Award-nominated novel-it's Memento meets Augie March. Didion meets Hitchcock (Esquire). It is August 15, 1953, the day of a boisterous and unwieldy street carnival in Elephant Park, an Italian immigrant enclave in northern Ohio. As the festivities reach a riotous pitch and billow into the streets, five members of the community labor under the weight of a terrible secret. As these floundering souls collide, one day of calamity and consequence sheds light on a half century of their struggles, their follies, and their pride. And slowly, it becomes clear that buried deep in the hearts of these five exquisitely drawn characters is the long-silenced truth about the crime that twisted each of their worlds. Cast against the racial, spiritual, and moral tension that has given rise to modern America, this first novel exhumes the secrets lurking in the darkened crevices of the soul of our country. Inventive, explosive, and revelatory, The End introduces Salvatore Scibona as an important new voice in American fiction.

Salvatore Scibona: другие книги автора

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“But you would not refuse me. You took my arm firmly in your brown hand. I was so skinny then and your hand so big that you could wrap your hand all the way around the thickest part of my arm and touch your thumb to your finger. And I said to myself, There is no hope. And I succumbed, was dragged by you into the club and was sat down by you, was thrown into a chair behind a low table with no cloth on it that was strewn with peanut shells and loose threads of tobacco. There were a dozen young men behind the lights on the stage playing violins and banjos; one had a mouth organ, another — a boy, seated — had a saw (a saw!) that he was bending into the shape of an S, and bending further, and unbending, and striking with a hammer, and making it make this human noise, plaintive, while an old man, older than you are now, with a white, patchy beard sang, and I did not know the words he was singing (it was English, only it wasn’t English at all), and all of them were standing but the boy while the man sang and beat out the time by stomping his boot resoundingly on the floor, and a Negro asked you what we would drink. And you told him to bring us two bottles of beer, if he pleased. I asked myself, Where was I? I was thirty-one. We had been married ten years. Alessio was dead. I asked myself, Where was I? The boy was smashing and smashing at the saw, making it cry out under the violins, and there were the banjos and the mouth organ and the old man’s yawning foreign voice and his stomping and the stout clapping of his hands. You would not let go my arm. My family were dead. I had killed them. The Negro came with the beers and poured them into glasses. I had no hope of any hope at all. The footlights threw the long shadows of the men up on the green wall behind them. I had no past or home country to return to, and no hope, only this man gripping my arm so tightly, my own hand had gone numb. The men on the stage were leaping, and the old man gave a whoop, and leapt, bringing his boots down solidly on the stage, and the others stopped playing. I saw the boy with the saw slip the hammer beneath his chair as one of the violinists passed him a bow. Then the boy bent the saw deep against the toe of his shoe and drew the bow along the blunt edge of the saw. Everything was quiet but for this. Nobody moved but this boy with his bow and the saw and the Negro carrying a bottle to a table in the front of the club.

“And the sound broke on my mind — you remember the sound, a sound of exquisite suffering with something else in it. Something I could not. . refuse, a sound of what suffering is on its backside; it was the hopeless sound of a child’s laughter.

“A minute later the old man gave a terrific stomp and they all started in again with the banjos and the singing. I could not catch my breath. And you let go my arm and touched your lips to my ear and said, ‘Stop this crying.’ But I did not know I was crying until you told me. I thought I was laughing. I believed I was laughing, like the boy’s saw, like a child laughing. I believed I had no hope at all. I had no hope at all. I could not stop myself from laughing. The clock over the stage read seven thirty. There was the smell of tobacco spit and popcorn.

“And if ever. Should you ever — so you must open your mouth and drink something warm. If you were to. Then — you know this, so you must help me, you must open your mouth and drink — then you would plunge me irretrievably to the bottom of the dead and irretrievable past.

“You remember, don’t you? How there was a boy with fierce eyes and wispy yellow hair on his cheeks, and how you put your mouth on my ear as though we were alone, and how the old man whooped? We drank our supper. The old man, at length, climbed down from the stage, took a seat by the stove in the middle of the room, and fell asleep.

“And we stayed till eleven and listened to the lads play.”


This book was written with the aid of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, the Michener/Coperni cus Society, the U.S.-Italy Fulbright Commission, the MacDowell Colony, and the Corporation of Yaddo; and with the indispensable advice of Rick Barot, Sara Becker, Sarah Braunstein, Bill Clegg, Michael Dumanis, Tim Earley, Jaimy Gordon, Vanessa Hwang Lui, John Michael MacDonald, Fiona McCrae, ZZ Packer, Roger Skillings, Jennifer Sprague, Justin Tussing, and Emily Shelton.

About the Author

SALVATORE SCIBONA’s first novel, The End, was a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the Young Lions Fiction Award from the New York Public Library. He administers the writing fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

~ ~ ~

The End has been set in Adobe Caslon Pro,

a typeface drawn by Carol Twombly in 1989,

and based on the work of William Caslon (c. 1692–1766),

an English engraver, punchcutter, and typefounder.

Book design by Wendy Holdman.

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