Quiet Chaos

Winner of the Strega Prize—Italy’s top literary award—and adapted into an internationally acclaimed film, a novel about stepping out of life after it cruelly turns everything upside down, and finding a resolution

After an afternoon of surfing, television executive Pietro Paladini and his brother Carlo spot two women struggling far off in the waves. Pietro and Carlo race to save them, and after fighting the currents and exhaustion, bring them safely to shore. Now late to get home, Pietro hurries up from the beach only to find his young daughter, Claudia, wide-eyed at the side of the road. His wife has unexpectedly died while he was saving the life of another.

After numbly feeling their way through the rituals of death and the end of summer, the school year begins. On that first day, Pietro decides to wait for Claudia and work from his car in the parking lot outside her school; he is also waiting for the full force of grief to press down on their shoulders, to suffocate them. What if today is the day that happens? What if Claudia needs him?

On the second day, Pietro again waits for his daughter . . . and the third, and the fourth. He finds some semblance of peace in waiting, and strangely others find something similar in him: his colleagues, friends and family begin to visit him at the parking lot to share their problems. It's there that the woman he saved finds him, stirring in him a distracting, overbearing lust that stands in the way of his grief. Through their angry, unforgiving union, Pietro's days outside the school reach their culmination, and his loss is finally transformed into acceptance.

  • Author: Sandro Veronesi
  • Translator: Michael F. Moore
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 432
  • Dimensions: 8 in H | 5.3 in W | 1 in T
  • On sale date: April 12, 2011
  • Publisher: Ecco Press

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