Thirteen-year-old Agosti is spending the summer at a Tuscan seaside resort with his beautiful widowed mother. When she takes up with a cocksure new companion, Agosti, feeling igred and unloved, begins hanging around with a group of local young toughs. Though repelled by their squalor and brutality, and repeatedly humiliated for his weakness and igrance when it comes to women and sex, the boy is increasingly, masochistically drawn to the gang and its rough games. He finds himself unable to make sense of his troubled feelings. Hoping to be full of manly calm, he is instead beset by guilty curiosity and an urgent desire to sever, at any cost, the thread of troubled sensuality that binds him to his mother. Alberto Moravia's classic, startling portrait of incence lost was written in 1942 but rejected by Fascist censors and t published until 1944, when it became a best seller and secured the author the first literary prize of his career. Revived here in a new translation by Michael F. Moore, Agosti is poised to captivate a twenty-first-century audience.
ALBERTO MORAVIA (1907-1990) the child of a wealthy family, was raised at home because of illness. He published his first novel, The Time of Indifference, at the age of twenty-three. Banned from publishing under Mussolini, he emerged after World War II as one of the most admired and influential of twentieth-century Italian writers. In addition to Agostino, New York Review Classics publishes Moravia's novels Boredom and Contempt. MICHAEL F. MOORE is the chair of the PEN/Heim translation fund. His translations from the Italian include, most recently, Live Bait by Fabio Genovesi, The Drowned and The Saved by Primo Levi, and Quiet Chaos by Sandro Veronesi. He is currently working on a new translation of the nineteenth-century classic The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni.