The Sky is Falling by Lorenza Mazzetti
Foreword by Ali Smith
Introduction by Francesca Massarenti
Drawings by Lorenza Mazzetti
This is no dream, and something more than a novel —Ali Smith
First published in 1961, Lorenza Mazzetti’s The Sky is Falling (Il cielo cade) is an impressionistic, idiosyncratic, and uniquely funny look at the writer’s childhood after she and her sister are sent to live with their Jewish relatives following the death of their parents. Bright and bucolic, vivid and mournful, and brimming with saints, martyrdom, ideals, wrong-doing and self-imposed torments, the novel describes the loss of innocence and family under the Fascist regime in Italy during World War II through the eyes of Mazzetti’s fictional alter ego, Penny, in sharp, witty (and sometimes petulant) prose.
First translated into English as The Sky Falls by Marguerite Waldman in 1962, with several pages missing due to censorship, the novel has been out of print in the anglophone world for many years. We are proud to reissue the text in a beautiful new translation by Livia Franchini that carries over the playfulness and perverse naivete of the original Italian.
"Il cielo cade is so much more than just a book about the horrors of the Second World War. It is as much a loving homage to the picture-perfect childhood Mazzetti’s aunt and uncle provided for her and her sister before circumstances beyond their control overwhelmed them, and thus also a moving portrait of the cruel loss of childhood innocence" –Lucy Scholes, The Paris Review