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Appignanesi, Richard. ITALIA PERVERSA: STALIN'S ORPHANS / THE MOSQUE / DESTROYING AMERICA. London, England: Quartet Books, 1985. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. Unpaginated. Fine/Fine.

The author's debut multi-volume novel. One of the most important literary debuts of the last two decades of the 20th century. Published in separate volumes between 1985 and 1986, they are brought together by the publisher as a trilogy from the original individual volumes. The true First Edition set. Precedes and should not be confused with all other such editions in about twelve languages. There is no American edition of any of the books. The three volumes correspond to the three parts of the novel: Part One is "Stalin's Orphans"; Part Two, "The Mosque", and Part Three, "Destroying America". One of the most ambitious literary projects of the 20th century, the Canadian Richard Appignanesi (he is of Italian ancestry) chronicles the lives of Piero Orsini and Madeleine Castigny de Nichel. "Theirs is a complex story of jealousy, vendetta, memory, and terror, in which the characters are uncompromising, always driven to 'see passion to the end'. The trilogy moves between Montreal, Vienna, and Zagreb, alien cities peopled with demonic characters. Its impressive qualities of expression and ingenious structures are certain to place 'Italia Perversa' alongside the other great fiction cycles of 20th-century literature, making Richard Appignanesi the natural heir to the grand tradition of Musil, Mann, Faulkner, and Durrell" (Publisher's blurb). The author received both the Quebec and Canada Council Grants to devote himself to his trilogy. Following Walter Benjamin's injunction for the modern writer to be a producer, he created the now-celebrated series of books called Beginners ("Freud for Beginners", "Lenin for Beginners", and "Rios for Beginners" are his own contributions), an ongoing series that integrates texts with illustrations, photography, and comics for both the general reader and scholar alike. Appignanesi also writes poetry, translations, and art criticism, and has been called the Glenn Gould of Canadian writer/intellectuals (as it happens, his first love was music and he studied to be both a pianist and composer). "An exciting, complex, and intensely rewarding novel" (Angus Wilson). An epic work in the grand manner. A "must-have" title for Richard Appignanesi collectors. These titles have been out-of-print for a very long time and are now collectible. These copies are in uniformly fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a beauty. A very scarce set thus. Regarded by critics and admirers as destined for canonical greatness. One of the finest writers of the 20th century. A fine collectible set. . ISBN 0704325098. $150.00

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