Renato After Alba
- Author: Mirabelli, Eugene
- Binding: Clothbound, sewn, jacketed
- Pages: 192
- Size: 5-1/2 x 8-1/2"
- Pub. Year: 2016
- ISBN: 978-1-62054-026-8
- In Stock: Yes
WINNER: 2017 INDEPENDENT PUBLISHER (IPPY) BONZE MEDAL FOR LITERARY FICTION . . .
and a finalist for the Foreword INDIES Book-of-the-Year-Award for literary fiction
Read the opening pages: Sample PDF
Grief astonishes. Ten years after the conclusion of Renato Stillamare’s defiant confessions in Renato, the Painter, Alba, his beloved wife of fifty years, dies without warning, and the blow leaves him in pieces. When he resumes his narrative, this larger-than-life artist has been reduced to a gray existence of messy confusion — broken belief, crazy hope, desperate philosophy. A man of fragments but still an artist, he assembles a collage of scenes of life with and without Alba, recollections of his eccentric Sicilian-American family, encounters with well-meaning friends, daily attempts at resuming his former life, and metaphysical railings against any deity capable of destroying what it has created. In Renato After Alba, the deepest sorrow is not merely lacerating, outrageous, heart-rending, and tragic, but also, for someone so completely human as the enduring Renato, touchingly comic. And miraculously beautiful in its astonishment.
“For anyone who loves the work of James Salter or William Trevor, Eugene Mirabelli is another writer to treasure, and Renato After Alba is one of the best books I’ve read in ages — a beautiful, profound and exhilarating novel about what sustains us in the face of inevitable loss.” — Elizabeth Hand, author of Hard Light and Generation Loss
“Deeply moving, Renato After Alba is a grief novel that is never depressing. Readers will discover not only solace for being human but also joy for being alive. Alba remains an extraordinary absent presence, fully realized. Another character, a young woman who has lost her husband to brain cancer, has tattooed on her arm the words, ‘ If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever ’ — words that could be the epigraph to this memorable novel.” — Jeffrey Berman, author of Writing Widowhood: The Landscapes of Bereavement
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Read Mirabelli's wonderfully droll blog: Critical Pages
Listen to a brief interview: IPR Author Podcast
Find out more about Mirabelli's books: Mirabelli.net
In this sequel to Renato, the Painter, Mirabelli poignantly describes Renato’s intense grief and loneliness since his beloved wife, Alba, died. He furtively seeks out human contact with friends, family, and mere acquaintances to stay in touch with the world. Gradually, he turns to the philosophers his Uncle Zitti quotes, especially Lucretius. Selections from On the Nature of Things by the ancient Roman poet and philosopher gives Renato great consolation as he considers the role of human life in the grand scheme of existence. True to his name, Renato is again reborn and attains a peaceful acceptance as he realizes that “the gods have given us love instead of immortality.” His mature reflections on life and nature make this work more serious than the earlier one, which is full of Renato’s comical escapades. VERDICT This reads well as a stand-alone but will be better appreciated by those who have read both novels. Renato is a Tristram Shandy–like character who achieves a firmer position in reality in this beautifully executed work of prose.—Lisa Rohrbaugh, Leetonia Community P.L., OH
Eugene Mirabelli is the author of eight previous novels, as well as numerous articles, reviews, short stories and interviews. He has received a Rockefeller Foundation Award, was co-founder and co-director of the Alternative Literary Programs in the Schools, and is a professor emeritus of the State University of New York at Albany. He grew up near Boston and that city, and indeed all New England, remains his favorite locale....
- Renato, the Painter - 2013 IPPY Gold Medal for literary fiction. Gene Mirabelli's wonderfully comic novel about an aging artist refusing to give up.