Natalia Ginzburg

  • fiction June 17, 2019

    Like Sleeping Next to a Boiling Kettle

    A man named Osvaldo Ventura entered a boarding house in Piazza Annibaliano. He was square, stocky, and wore a mackintosh. His hair was grey-blond, his skin flushed pink, his eyes yellow. He tended to smile when he felt uncertain.

    He’d gotten a telephone call from a girl he knew who was staying there. Someone had loaned her an apartment on Via dei Prefetti and she’d asked him for a ride.

    She was waiting in the lobby, wearing a cotton turquoise shirt, eggplant-colored pants, and a black kimono with silver dragons embroidered on it. At her feet there were suitcases, shopping bags, and a baby in