Publication: October 23, 2020
With an introduction by Douglas Glover
ISBN 978-1-62054-042-8, 592 pages (i-xii, 1-580), 5.5 x 8.5”
In the course of a long and productive literary career Eugene Mirabelli has written three sequential novels about the poignant and comical misadventures of an artist, Renato Stillamare, which have now been revised and assembled into a magnum opus.
Renato! is remarkable both for the dynamic fusion of its parts—a modernistic marriage of forms—and for its brio imbued with love, sex, food, philosophy, religion, and family attachments amidst the confusions of modern life. Renato's story runs from birth to maturity to the intimations of mortality. His personality is creative, noble, jealous, generous, foolish, compassionate, witty, selfish, and wonderfully charismatic. His language is colloquial and at times profane; his painterly eye for detail is precise and revealing; his metaphors apt and often hilarious; his heart vulnerable, and his suffering all too real. Renato! is a testament to struggle, failure, and a passionate embrace of life. As the novelist and critic Douglas Glover remarks in his introduction to Renato!, it is as though Mirabelli has reverse-engineered the novel as that wonderfully extravagant and particularly Italian form—opera.
"Over the decades, and steadily, Eugene Mirabelli has been working on a major canvas—beginning with "The Goddess in Love with a Horse" and coming to fruition in this work. An artist writing about artists is, always, a bit of a gamble, but it's this reader's opinion that our high-stakes gambler has hit the jackpot here. The real and the surreal blend together seamlessly; the love affair endures."—NIcholas Delbanco, author of Why Writing Matters