Ginzburg, Natalia Levi nətäl´yə lē´vē gĭn´sbûrg [key]
, 1916–91, Italian novelist. Because she and her husband Leone Ginzburg were Jewish, they were confined to a small village from 1940 to 1943; her husband later died in a Rome prison. Strongly affected by the pain and disruptions of World War II, she wrote about the war's effects on families. Her terse, understated, yet elegant, style reflects an impatience with artifice and hypocrisy. Her best-known novels and novellas include The Road to the City
(1942, tr. 1949), The Dry Heart
(1947, tr. 1949, 2019), Voices in the Evening
(1961, tr. 1963), Happiness as Such
(1973, tr. 2019), and the epistolary Family Lexicon
(1963, tr. 2017), widely considered her finest book. A number of her essays are translated in A Place to Live
(tr. 2001) and The Little Virtues
See the autobiographical The Things We Used to Say (1963, tr. 1999, tr. as Family Sayings, 1967, as Family Lexicon, 2017); biography by L. M. Picchione (1978).
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