The Little Virtues

Natalia Ginzburg

The Little Virtues
Daunt Books
United Kingdom
24 April 2018

The Little Virtues

Natalia Ginzburg

Originally published in the 1960s, this is an extraordinary collection of 11 essays by one of the most important Italian writers of the twentienth century.

‘As far as the education of children is concerned I think they should be taught not the little virtues but the great ones…’ So begins the titular essay in Natalia Ginzburg’s extraordinary collection, which takes little subjects - shoes, meatballs, moneyboxes - and turns them into subjects of great significance.

Whether she writes of the loss of a friend, the effects of World War II, the horrors of British food, the craft of writing, the importance of silence, or the Abruzzi, where she and her first husband lived in forced residence under Fascist rule, Ginzburg brings to her reflections the wisdom of a survivor and the spare, wry, and poetically resonant style that makes these essays as contemporary and relevant as when they were originally published.

Ginzburg is regarded as one of the finest and most important Italian writers of the twentieth century and this collection will introduce her remarkable writing to a new generation of readers. This is feminist, personal writing at its very best, which sings with wonder and grace.

‘I really love and admire The Little Virtues by Natalia Ginzburg… She writes beautiful, short essays about very simple things: shoes, food, children, writing itself. Her sentences have great precision and clarity, and I learn a lot when I read her.’ - Zadie Smith  

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