First Edition of the authors classic work on World War II Naples 44; Signed by Norman Lewis
Item Number: 4131
London: Collins, 1978.
First edition of this landmark work. Octavo, original cloth. Signed by Norman Lewis on the title page. Fine in a fine dust jacket. Rare and desirable signed.
Naples '44 is a landmark poetic study of the agony of wartime occupation and its ability to bring out the worst, and often the best, in human nature. In prose both heartrending and comic, Lewis describes an era of disillusionment, escapism, and hysteria in which the Allied occupiers mete out justice unfairly and fail to provide basic necessities to the populace while Neapolitan citizens accuse each other of being Nazi spies, women offer their bodies to the same Allied soldiers whose supplies they steal for sale on the black market, and angry young men organize militias to oppose "temporary" foreign rule. Yet over the chaotic din, Lewis sings intimately of the essential dignity of the Neapolitan people, whose traditions of civility, courage, and generosity of spirit shine through daily. Graham Greene was attributed with saying that Lewis is "one of the best travel writers, not of any particular decade but of the twentieth century."