By the Grand Canal is an exquisite novel redolent of Venice and the haze of WWI from William Rivière, the author of the award-winning Kate Caterina. In the aftermath of the First World War, Hugh Thurne, a British diplomat involved in the peace negotiations, finds solace in his rented palazzo in Venice rather than returning to his wife and the charade of his marriage in London. Although profoundly disturbed about the long-term prospects for peace, he has faith in the city's power to raise his spirits. Hugh eagerly looks forward to visits with his old friends Giacomo and Valentina Venier in their dilapidated palazzo on the Grand Canal; to dallying with a young opera singer, Emanuela; and to the arrival of Violet Mancroft, the widow of his best friend lost in the war. What he does not anticipate is the shadow lying over the Venier family's future. Nor has he reckoned with the vagaries of his own human heart. Evoking the beauty of Venice, this is a novel about premonition for the future and the war it portends, about death and memory, and also about an unexpected love between two old friends.
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William Riviere was born in 1954 and brought up in Norfolk. After leaving Cambridge, he spent several years in Venice, and later worked in Japan and travelled extensively around the Far East. He is the author of four previous novels; Watercolour Sky (winner of a Betty Trask Award); A Venetian Theory of Heaven and Earth, Eros and Psyche and Borneo Fire. He has is married to a painter, and teaches at the University of Urbino in Italy.From Publishers Weekly:
The lapping waters of the canals of Venice transport readers to 1920s Italy in this quiet, richly atmospheric novel by Rivière (Kate Caterina, etc.). In the aftermath of WWI, British diplomat Hugh Thurne arrives in Venice fresh from the armistice talks. Old family friends Giacomo and Valentina Venier open their crumbling palazzo to him, and soon the lanky man whom friends call "the heron" is involved in a number of romantic dramas that distract him from the cares of war and from his marital troubles brewing back in England. He revels in an affair with passionate Emanuela, an opera singer, but life becomes more complicated when his best friend's widow, Violet, arrives in Venice having lost her husband in the fighting. And soon Hugh's long respite watching the shadows reflected upon the waters of the Grand Canal ends with a heartbreaking journey to the graveyards of San Michele to bury yet another of his dearest friends. Rivière's flair for transposing the finest nuances of gesture and mood to the page lends his novels an extra layer of texture, and here he successfully captures the now-vanished habits of a decaying city. Played in a decidedly minor key, this is a lovely rhapsody of Venice and a stirring philosophical examination of war and its aftermath.
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Descrizione libro Grove Press, 2005. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 0802117937
Descrizione libro Grove Press, 2005. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0802117937
Descrizione libro Grove Press, 2005. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria P110802117937