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About this book
The Last Homeland
Matteo Righetto • Howard Curtis
Winter 1868. In the rugged mountains of the Veneto, Italy, the inhabitants have by now almost completely disappeared: most of them, oppressed by appalling poverty, have emigrated to America in search of a better life. Holding on to this lonely landscape is the De Boer family.
The momentary calm in the area is upset when two bandits intercept the gold Augustus, the head of the family, earned smuggling tobacco across the border. Moved by a thirst for revenge and armed only with her father’s rifle, his daughter Joel, now twenty, goes after the bandits through woods and deserted snow-covered villages on a journey that will force her to go further than she had ever imagined.
The Last Homeland is the second novel in the internationally acclaimed epic trilogy that began with Soul of the Border, telling the story of the De Boer family and the endless human search for redemption.
About the Creators
MATTEO RIGHETTO is an award-winning author and professor of literature. Many of his works take place in beautiful mountain landscapes that he knows deeply, having visited them since his childhood backpacking with his father. Among his best-known novels are the celebrated La pelle dell’orso (The Bear Skin), recently made into a movie, and Apri gli occhi (Open Your Eyes), winner of the Premio Cortina. L’anima della frontiera (Soul of the Border) became a literary success and was sold in several countries before its publication in Italy. The author is now working on the third title in the trilogy, La terra promessa (The Promised Land). He lives between Padua and the Dolomites in Italy.
HOWARD CURTIS has translated more than sixty books from French, Italian, and Spanish. Among his recent translations are works by Daniel Arsand, Santiago Gamboa, and Paolo Sorrentino. His current projects include two novels by Carole Martinez, a book of short stories by Andrej Longo, and the Duca Lamberti tetralogy by Giorgio Scerbanenco. He lives in London, U.K.
Awards and Praise
PRAISE FOR MATTEO RIGHETTO AND SOUL OF THE BORDER
“A harrowing, suspenseful, and convincing novel . . . Something beautiful.” — Daniel Woodrell, author of Winter’s Bone
“Soul of the Border is the real deal. Rich in mood and with a great feel for the environment it traverses, this is one clever and beautiful book, and I highly recommend it. It was fantastic.” — Joe R. Lansdale, author of Paradise Sky
“Written in a laconic style, with scarcely any dialogue, the often poignant novel is beautifully executed as it creates an ethos that is haunting and altogether memorable. Seemingly simple and straightforward, the story resonates with timeless characters and situations, investing them with the weight of allegory.” — Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
“This is the first novel to be translated into English by the prize-winning Italian author — the excellent translation is by Howard Curtis — and it’s great.” — Bookseller
“Righetto’s novel abounds with naturalistic details that help create a fine sense of place — evoking both the literal path that Jole follows and the sense of a world on the cusp of something.” — Kirkus Reviews
“A complex and beautifully written novel . . . Soul of the Border is compelling and immersive. It illustrates the strength of the human soul as it confronts challenges and evils without question. Jole’s coming-of-age journey is painful but inspirational.” — Historical Novels Review, Editor’s Choice
“Soul of the Border is a beautiful novel that encapsulates nature at its toughest and most stunning, and humanity at its strongest and most uplifting . . . out of this world.” — Cub Magazine, FIVE-STAR REVIEW
“[A] taut, stylish novel . . . Will appeal to fans of Cormac McCarthy, and it almost reads like a European version of a Western. A stark and beautiful natural setting, strong female protagonist, and the rhythm and raw economy of the prose make Soul of the Border seductive.” — Age
“A novel in which you hear the howling of the wolf, the hoots of the owl, the tingling of insects in the meadows, you feel Nature talking and moving, in which all the passions and impulses of men are expressed . . . Mysterious, ‘biblical,’ impetuous, Matteo Righetto’s novel exposes all the implications of crossing a frontier. And once crossed, the reader, together with the characters, will no longer be the same.” — Il Giornale
“Matteo Righetto’s writing is clear and crystalline as the mountains . . . A bitter and delicate story, multifaceted as a hard stone, seductive as the land of the high Brenta Valley. A story precise like a photograph that reflects the colours and emotions, evokes the scents, sounds, whims of that small far world, between peaks and springs.” — Corriere del Veneto
“A novel that places a gripping personal tale of survival and revenge at the centre of its meticulously depicted historical setting. . . . Written in sparse prose over often very short chapters, the story unfolds both in action and in setting with masterful pacing and precision.” — Pendora Magazine