The Dry Heart | Natalia Ginzburg

The Dry Heart


Translated from Italian by Frances Frenaye

Published May 2021
ISBN: 9781911547600
Format: Paperback

Also available as an eBook:

‘ I took the revolver out of his desk drawer and shot him between the eyes.’

Four years before she shoots her husband and walks to a café for a coffee, a lonely young woman living in a boarding house meets an older man called Alberto. They go for long walks along the river and on the outskirts of the city; they look like lovers, although they’re not.

Alberto doesn’t tell her anything about himself and she asks few questions. Still, with little else to distract her, she lets her imagination run wild and convinces herself to fall in love. Though he doesn’t feel the same, Alberto asks her to marry him and they have a baby. But Alberto is a man who tires quickly of everything.

The Dry Heart is a short, dark and psychologically rich novel that forensically examines how an unhappy marriage comes to end in murder.

‘A compact, nervy thriller.’ – New Statesman

‘Ginzburg’s marvellously compact prose is beautifully showcased in The Dry Heart.’ –  Irish Times

‘In sparse, economical prose, Ginzburg portrays the emotional and social limits placed on women.’ – Observer

‘A dark, captivating story about a woman who falls in and out of love; a masterpiece in detachment.’ Time Out

‘Written in cool, detached tones but propelled by fierce emotional currents, it’s no surprise that Ginzburg’s books are adored by everyone from Sally Rooney to Zadie Smith.’ – Stylist Loves

‘This slim, perfect book is one of the greatest revenge tales . . . gorgeous and haunting’ – Lisa Taddeo, author of Animal

‘This book is a Roman candle – quick and explosive.’ – New York Times

‘A feminist classic that exposes the dark side of marriage in clean, captivating prose.’ Chicago Tribune

‘It’s good to have The Dry Heart back.’The New Yorker

‘I’m utterly entranced by Ginzburg’s style – her mysterious directness, her salutary ability to lay things bare that never feels contrived or cold, only necessary, honest, clear.’ – Maggie Nelson

‘Ginzburg gives us a new template for the female voice and an idea of what it might sound like.’ – Rachel Cusk