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The House on Via Gemito: Winner of the Strega Prize

The House on Via Gemito: Winner of the Strega Prize by Domenico Starnone, and Oonagh Stransky

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By Domenico Starnone, and and, Oonagh Stransky

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“Starnone uses languages the way a great painter works with colour, conjuring the illusion of three dimensions from a blank flat surface.” —Jhumpa Lahiri

“One of Italy’s most accomplished novelists.” —The Guardian 

The modest apartment on Via Gemito smells of paint and white spirit. The furniture is pushed up against the wall to create a make-shift studio, and drying canvases must be moved off the beds each night. 

Federì, a railway clerk, is convinced that, if he didn’t have a family to feed, he’d be a world-famous painter. Talented, ambitious, and frustrated, his life is marked by bitter disappointment. His long-suffering wife and their four sons bear the brunt.

Years later, his first-born son will tell the story of a man he spent his whole life trying not to resemble. 

Narrated against the background of a Naples still marked by WWII and first published in Italy 20 years ago, The House on Via Gemito is a masterpiece of contemporary Italian literature.

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