The Earth is Falling

Carmen Pellegrino


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Prototype Publishing Ltd.
28 March 2024
ISBN: 9781913513474
280 pages

From the publisher

Translated by Shaun Whiteside

The Earth is Falling is a haunting and magical novel based around the existence of an abandoned village outside Naples. The deserted houses that still stand there are peopled with ghosts who live in a perpetual present from which time has effectively been abolished. The village appears to be semi-alive; the landslide which ominously awaits and which will eventually lead to the abandonment of the place has yet to arrive (yet its rumbles are heard).

Pellegrino peoples Alento with eccentrics, luminaries, an eternally optimistic town crier. In the closing pages, the narrator Estella summons  the remaining ghosts for a final dinner. The overall effect is unsettling, haunting and uncanny, the trapped souls doomed to repeat their circumscribed daily life for ever, cut off from the world but dimly aware of its continued presence outside. The pervading mood of nostalgia and melancholy works in stark contrast with the inevitability of the impending catastrophe of the landslide that threatens to obliterate their world forever.