PEN award-winner Minna Proctor translated the 20 pieces by prolific Italian realist Federigo Tozzi (1883-1920) that make up Love in Vain: Selected Stories, in which the young characters' search for the romantic ideal often leads only to misery. Jealousy, obsession and betrayal are brought to the fore in these stories of smalltown lovers driven by their passions, trying desperately to connect usually without success. "What good does love do me?" one anguished character asks. Through the arranged marriages, secret trysts and unfulfilled desires, disappointment and frustration are never far off.
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Nervy, sexy stories from a rediscovered Italian master...[Tozzi's] lovers love so hard it hurts. -- Salon.com, Maria Russo, 11 June 2001
[A]n almost Chekhovian delicacy. -- Context, James Crossley, Fall 2001