Set in post-war Switzerland, in the strict, repressive world of an institution for young girls, this novel tells the story of an idyll enjoyed in captivity and an adolescent friendship that becomes perverse and exploitative. The novel was awarded the Bagutto and Rapallo prizes in Italy.
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Set in postwar Switzerland, Fleur Jaeggy's eerily beautiful novel begins simply and innocently enough: "At fourteen I was a boarder in a school in the Appenzell". But there is nothing truly simple or innocent here. With the off-handed knowingness of a remorseless young Eve, the narrator describes life as a captive of the school and her designs to win the affections of the apparently perfect new girl, Frederique. As she broods over her schemes as well as on the nature of control and madness, the novel gathers a suspended, unsettling energy. Now translated into six languages, I beati anni del castigo in its Italian original won the 1990 Premio Bagutta and the 1990 Premio Speciale Rapallo. In Tim Parks' consummate translation (with its "spare, haunting quality of a prose poem"), Sweet Days of Discipline was selected as one of the London Times Literary Supplement's Notable Books of 1992: "In a period when novels are generally over-blown and scarcely portable, it is good to be able to recommend (one that is) miraculously short and beautifully written".About the Author:
The London Times Literary Supplement named Fleur Jaeggy’s S.S. Proleterka as a Best Book of the Year; and her Sweet Days of Discipline won the Premio Bagutta as well as the Premio Speciale Rapallo.
Tim Parks is the author of more than twenty novels and works of nonfiction, including the best-selling Italian Neighbors and An Italian Education. His novels include Europa which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. His essays have appeared in the The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books. Parks is also a renowned translator from the Italian and lives in Verona.
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