Review: The Dry Heart by Natalia Ginzburg

Natalia Ginzburg’s “The Dry Heart” is a spare, sombre novella about a decayed marriage. It opens with its narrator shooting her husband Alberto between the eyes, then rewinds to the beginning of their relationship, which seemed destined for capitulation from its commencement. 

Upon their first meeting, the narrator states, “I didn’t really like him,” and later on, Alberto declares his love for another woman. And yet, they are married, and through plainspoken, vivid language, Ginzburg details the capriciousness of their connection, which grows increasingly tenuous and vitriolic. Until, one day — blam.

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