June, 1943. Allied aircraft are bombing industrial Turin; Fascist Italy seems to be on its knees. Corrado, a teacher, is staying in relative safety in the hills above the city. He has no attachments and claims to be happy that way. But against his better judgement he is drawn into a circle of anti-fascists who congregate at a nearby tavern. As the authorities' net closes around his friends, Corrado must face a painful choice: emotional and political commitment, with all its dangers - or devastating retreat.
Pavese is one of the few essential novelists of the mid-twentieth century
Pavese's nine short novels make up the most dense, dramatic, and homogeneous narrative cycle of modern Italy ... But above all they are works of an extraordinary depth where one never stops finding new levels, new meanings
Cesare Pavese's cool, contemplative voice was the most important among postwar Italian writers
Insinuating, haunting and lyrically pervasive