In the last months of World War II, a young man with a fatal disease, straight out the army, is sent to a TB sanatorium near Palermo. It feels like a leper colony- people arrive, but never leave until they are dead, usually in a matter of months. Even the doctor has the illness in his cells. But the sap of life cannot be stopped from flowing. The men's and women's wings of the sanatorium are strictly segregated, but there are permits to go into town for patients who have passed a screening; there are little boys to run lovers' errands; and there is human ingenuity. In the long, hot summer of 1946, at an evening of amateur theatricals organised by the doctor, our narrator falls in love with Marta, a young ballerina who has not lost her grace. But what sort of future can be expected of such a romance?All it took, at times, on the fringes of sleep, was the whistling of a train muted by distance, or the creaking of sulphur-laden carts winding over the hill ... who tends to keep his distance (our wing, with its numerous identical rooms, is occupied entirely by repatriated ex-service-men, ... Up there on high, as he followed my finger, he sought a thread of gold that would guide him safely out of sickness and back toanbsp;...
|Title||:||The Plague-spreader's Tale|
|Publisher||:||Random House - 2011-07-31|