Named a Best Book of the Year by Vogue
Calligarich's time capsule of love and existential drift in a lost Rome, translated into sparkling prose by Curtis, is ripe for a rediscovery.–Anderson Tepper, The New York Times Book Review
Calligarich's rendering turns la dolce vita into something more akin to Camus's L'Etranger
in a contemporary-ish urban setting. Out of print for years, this welcome new translation is elegiac and heart-rending.–Vogue (Best Books to Read This Summer 2021)
A slim masterpiece . . . One of those delicious minor works, enmeshed in a particular place and a particular time, that only rarely escape the confines of a national literature and onto the commercial lists of varsity American publishers. –Max Norman, Los Angeles Review of Books
[Calligarich's] Rome is a vibrant entity in his descriptions of the Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, and the bustling market stalls of Campo de' Fiori, while the sounds of summer–'voices in the trattorias on the square, the clatter of dishes, the melancholy sound of an out-of-tune trumpet'–lend a rich texture to this deeply haunting novel. Is there any place in society for those who refuse to color within the lines? This is a question that Leo struggles to answer. A marvel of a novel.
– Poornima Apte, Booklist (starred review)
The account of a lost generation in Rome in the early 1970s (possibly the children of the children of Hemingway's lost generation) carries the weight of both family history and generational saga.
–Kirkus (starred review)
Scintillating . . . an Italian cult classic masterfully translated for the first time into English by the pro Howard Curtis . . . The novel feels as relevant today as it ever was.
–Jenny McPhee, Air Mail
Evocative . . . Calligarich conjures Italy's piazzas, parties, beaches, and bars with a mood reminiscent of A Movable Feast . . .
the feeling that Leo is alone in the world is poignantly conveyed.–Publishers Weekly
Charming, decadent, and emotionally ruthless, Last Summer in the City
is equal parts Fitzgerald and Antonioni, burrowing deep into the kind of unhappiness that can only be soothed by afternoon movies and very strong cocktails. It's wonderful to have this devastating gem at large in the world again.
–Andrew Martin, author of Cool for America
The true quality of this novel is the way it enlightens, with a desperate clarity, a relationship between a man and a city–that is, between crowd and loneliness.