Inside an apartment building on the outskirts of Milan, the working-class residents gossip, quarrel, and conspire against each other. Viewed through the eyes of Chino, an impressionable thirteen-year-old boy whose mother is the doorwoman of the building, the world contained within these walls is tiny, hypocritical, and mean-spirited: a constant struggle. Chino finds escape in reading.One day, a new resident, Amelia Lynd, moves in and quickly becomes an unlikely companion and a formative influence on Chino. Ms. Lynd an elderly, erudite British woman comes to nurture his taste in literature, introduces him to the life of the mind, and offers a counterpoint to the only version of reality that he s known. On one level, Lost Words is an engrossing coming-of-age tale set in the seventies, when Italy was going through tumultuous social changes, and on another, it is a powerful meditation on language, literature, and culture."
New Directions Publishing Corporation