THRESHOLDS AND MOTHERS: ELSA MORANTE’S “ARTURO’S ISLAND,” TRANSLATED FROM ITALIAN BY ANN GOLDSTEIN
Elsa Morante’s "Arturo’s Island: A Novel" is an enchanting, complex work about a boy, Arturo, growing up on the island Procida. He swims, struggles to understand his father, adores his dog, falls in love, and eventually leaves home. His drama of adolescent feelings is both universally relatable and singular. Since he grows up outside of conventional society, his life is magical, isolated, and at times disturbing. The woman he falls in love with is his father’s new wife. Ann Goldstein’s 2019 rendering of this tremendous novel gives English readers a new chance to visit Arturo’s island.