Out on 08 August 2019

The Catholic School

Translated by Antony Shugaar

Edoardo Albinati

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08 August 2019
1280 pages

Edoardo Albinati’s The Catholic School creates a world: a world of power, sex, violence and the threat of masculinity, of the power wielded and misused by men in groups.

In 1975, three young well-off men, former students at Rome’s prestigious all-boys Catholic high school San Leone Magno, brutally torture, rape, and murder two young women. The event, which comes to be known as the Circeo massacre, shocks and captivates all of Italy, exposing the violence and dark underbelly of the upper middle class at a moment when the traditional structures of family and religion are under threat.

Edoardo Albinati sets his novel in the halls and corridors of San Leone Magno in the late 1960s and the 1970s, exploring the intersection between the world of teenage boys and the structures of power in modern Italy. Along with indelible portraits of teachers and pupils – the charming Arbus, the literature teacher Cosmos, and his only Fascist friend, Max – Albinati’s novel also reflects on the legacy of abuse, the Italian bourgeoisie, and the relationship between sex, violence, and masculinity.

Not only is this an important, at times magnificent book, and not only does it need all of its pages, but because of the time it takes, and of the space it takes up, it forms an entirely original narrative that therefore stands as a pivotal moment in contemporary literature.

Corriere della Sera

One of the most exciting novels of recent years.

Die Zeit