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St Aubin de Teran, Lisa

italy mezzanotte soldier south

(British, 1953– )

St Aubin de Teran's life has provided the material for much of her fiction; at 16 she left school to marry an exiled Venezuelan landowner; after two years in Italy they returned to his family estates in the Andes, where she managed his sugar plantation and avocado farm for seven years, while his mental health deteriorated. She escaped to Norfolk, and now lives in Italy. Start with her first novel, Keepers of the House (1982), which is based on the South American experience. In Nocturne (1992), set in 1930s' Italy, village boy Mezzanotte falls in love with a girl from a travelling fair; then comes the war; and in the 1990s a young soldier becomes the confidant of the horribly wounded old soldier Mezzanotte, and learns the rest of his haunting story. Time and place are beautifully conjured here. Southpaw (1999) is a collection of stories, many of them spiced with South American magic realism.

Louis de Bernières, Isabel Allende  JR

St Omer, Garth [next]

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