In the Gathering Woods

In the Gathering Woods

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2000 Drue Heinz Literature Prize Winner Selected by Frank Conroy In the Gathering Woods contains a cast of characters who hail from the same Italian ancestors, but whose stories come at us unbounded by time and space. The book opens early in the twentieth century, with a narratora€™s boyhood recollections of gathering mushrooms with his grandfathera€”a narrator who seems still haunted by a terrifying local legend that tormented him as a boy. We skip backward to a young shepherd-artist in the Apennine mountains in the 1500s, who yearns to be discovered, as Giotto was. Later, a preverbal baby accumulates bits of the conversation carried on by adults at the table above her head; a neurologist from Chicago returns to the Apennines to deposit shards of glass at a grave. Whether they speak in the lost dialect of an immigrant, of infancy, or of an adolescent girla€™s school lessons, these stories call up fragments of language in a struggle to understand and attempt to console through the act of reassembling. The language of these stories is both lyrical and comic, providing insight through the details of Bernardia€™s writing.The chair slid back in underneath the table along with my grandmothera#39;s knees. Then it slid back out again, another quick trip to the kitchen. Scordo iljello mold. I forgot the jello mold. Jello mold le nAu mica un cibo. Jello mold is not food.

Title:In the Gathering Woods
Author:Adria Bernardi
Publisher:University of Pittsburgh Press - 2000-10-15


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