The winner of the Strega Prize, Italy’s top literary award, and the basis of an internationally acclaimed motion picture, Quiet Chaos is now available in America. Author Sandro Veronesi, whose work has been glowingly compared to the novels of Ian McEwan and Martin Amis, dazzles with this powerfully compelling, often darkly funny story of a television producer whose world is misshapen by ironic tragedy. An unforgettable contemporary fable about stepping out of life after it cruelly turns everything upside-down, and finding a resolution to the unsolvable problem of loss in the beauty and strangeness of the everyday, Quiet Chaos is another literary wonder from the author of The Force of the Past.
On the shores of the Mediterranean, exhausted from an afternoon of surfing,
Pietro Paladini is shaken out of his stupor by a distant noise. “Over there!”
he cries to his brother, Carlo, sunning beside him. “Over there!”
So begins the adventure that will tear a hole in Pietro’s life. For while he and his
brother struggle to save two drowning swimmers, a tragedy is unfolding down the
road at his summer cottage. Instead of coming home to a hero’s welcome, Pietro
is greeted by the flashing lights of an ambulance, the wide-eyed stare of his young
daughter, Claudia, and the terrible news that his fiancée, Lara, is dead.
Life must go on. Or does it? Pietro, a true iconoclast, has to find his own way.
When he drops Claudia off for the first day of school, he decides to wait outside
for her all day, and then every day. To protect her. To protect himself. To wait for
the heavy fist of grief to strike. But as the days and weeks go by, the small parking
lot in front of the school becomes his refuge from the world as well as the place
where family and colleagues come to relieve their own suffering—among them, the
woman he rescued from the waves. And Pietro plunges deeper into the depths of
his life before seeing the simple truth before his eyes.
Sandro Veronesi makes art of every detail, creating a mosaic of humor, hope,
profound insight, and emotional resonance. Quiet Chaos is an unprecedented portrayal
of a life set adrift by death.