Tiger Bay, 1948. Frank Gauci steps off the Callisto into the coldest winter ever, clutching a cardboard suitcase. It`s all he has - until he finds a ruby ring, Joe Medora and beautiful Mary. Maybe, Frankie`s luck is about to change. Ten years later, with a mass of debts, five daughters and another child on the way, Frankie lays one more bet on the cards. This time it has to be a boy. But it was not to be a boy. And now everyone has to hide - Frankie from Joe and the syndicate, Mary from the rent man, the daughters from their father. Even the newborn Delores is hidden in a seaman`s chest. Out of Frankie`s sight, but not out of danger. In compelling detail Trezza Azzopardi describes a world rarely seen in fiction. Through the eyes of Delores Gauci, she reveals the Welsh underworld of the sixties - the cafes and bars, the crumbling housing, the gambling rooms - and the secrets that destroy a family. Trezza Azzopardi is a rare new talent in contemporary fiction. The Hiding Place is an astonishing debut. (2000)
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From Publishers Weekly:
TREZZA AZZOPARDI is the critically acclaimed author of The Hiding Place, which won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and longlisted for the Orange Prize and the Guardian First Book Award, and Remember Me, which was shortlisted for the Welsh Book of the Year. Born in Cardiff, Wales, she is a graduate of the Creative Writing School at the University of East Anglia. She lives in Norfolk, England.
Frank McCourt and Mary Karr may have written definitive accounts of grim childhoods, but British first novelist Azzopardi can stand on her own as a writer of remarkable sensibility and literary prowess. A seedy dockside community in 1960s Wales is the apt setting for this memoir-like narrative. Physical and emotional abuse haunts every detail in Azzopardi's account of a poor Maltese immigrant family's misery. Dolores, the youngest of the six Gauci daughters, narrates the story of her father Frankie's arrival in Tiger Bay, Wales, his marriage to young waitress Mary Jessop, the birth of their children and the family's eventual disintegration as a result of Frankie's gambling and jealousy. In Part One, Dolores's five-year-old narration is emotionless as she relates the awful events that shape their lives. Hers is the perfect voice to unearth the family's confusing and shady secrets; because the child doesn't quite understand the emotional impact of situations, she questions and observes with detachment. On the day Dolores is born, Frankie gambles away their house and caf . When she is just a month old, Dolores loses her left hand in a fire. Frankie's jealousy and gambling debts lead him to sell one of his daughters, Marina, to gangster Joe Medora, the man he believes is her father. Azzopardi chills the blood with gruesome details as Frankie skins Dolores's pet rabbit for older sister Celesta's wedding dinner. Eventually, Frankie abandons the family to join Medora, and Mary, losing her grip on reality, also loses the remaining children to public care. Dolores's stoic perspective continues into adulthood, as, in Part Two, the sisters return to Tiger Bay for Mary's funeral. Although the narrative line can confuse as the story shifts from present to past, readers will be riveted by this brilliant psychological prose poem of a family united only in helplessness and despair, in a poverty-stricken corner of the world rarely evoked in fiction. (Jan.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Descripción Picador, 2000. Mass Market Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M0330487795