Strangers I Know
by Claudia Durastanti
Translated by Elizabeth Harris
Every family has its own mythology, but in this family the myths don’t match up. Claudia’s mother says she met her husband when she stopped him from jumping off a bridge. Her father says it happened when he saved her from an attempted robbery. Both parents are deaf but couldn’t be more different; they can’t even agree on how they met, much less who needed saving.
Claudia comes of age with her brother in this strange, and increasingly estranged, household split between New York City and a village in southern Italy. Without even sign language in common, family communication is chaotic and rife with misinterpretation, by turns hilarious and devastating. Feeling like a stranger to those she loves most, Claudia longs for a freedom she’s not sure exists. She begins to create her own mythology, to construct her version of the story of her life.
Formally dazzling and spectacularly original, Strangers I Know makes us look anew at how language and family can shape our understanding of the world. A bestselling, award-winning sensation in Italy, it asks whether we can truly know anyone, including ourselves.
Page Count: 288 Pages
Imprint: Text Publishing
Published: Feb 2022