The Political Prisoner has its autobiographical roots in Pavese's own arrest and imprisonment in Calabria for his writings in the anti-fascist magazine La Cultura.
This story describes the day to day life of Stefano, an anti-fascist who has served a prison sentence and is banished to a remote southern Italian seaside resort where he awaits an official pardon.
Pavese describes the monotony, the grimness and the sensuality of life in the village through the eyes of a man who realises his habits have been broken.
When the summer ends Stefano can no longer kill the days by swimming and lying on the seashore.
His life is empty, relationships seem pointless and he begins to take refuge in his dreams. The second novella, The Beautiful Summer, is a tale of corruption and maturity based a colony of inferior artists and their models in Turin.
When a fourteen-year-old Ginia falls in love with one of the artists from this group she gradually comes to comprehend not the glamour but the futility and callousness of so-called bohemian 'freedom'.
- Format: Paperback / softback
- Pages: 176 pages
- Publisher: Peter Owen Publishers
- Publication Date: 01/11/2007
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780720612622