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In Bruno's Shadow

In Bruno's Shadow

By Tony Ardizzone

As a tsunami in South-East Asia kills three hundred thousand and Pope John Paul II lies dying, the lives of eight people in Rome are transformed by a Croatian housekeeper named Dubravka, who was betrayed in love and later witness to a miracle at the site of apparitions of the Virgin Mary. The stories of the North Americans and Italians she encounters interconnect and alternate with key episodes from Dubravka's life, as she struggles to resolve her personal concerns as well as the contradictions in her Catholic faith while working at a pensione in Rome's Campo de’ Fiori, in the shadow of the statue of the martyred visionary Giordano Bruno.


Guernica World Editions ()


321 pages |

Regular price $25.00 CAD
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A heart-rending and intricate novel that unfurls from one woman's fleeting encounters with strangers in an exquisitely rendered Rome. In Bruno's Shadow delves into the questions that shape our lives in ways that are profound, moving, and at times downright funny.

Gerri Brightwell, author of Turnback Ridge

A novel of great complexity infused with empathy and insight, where matters of the spirit are anchored securely within a framework of American contemporary realism. With a menagerie of travelers crisscrossing superimposed maps of Rome and Dubrovnik, its themes -- the space between the rational and the mystery, and the deathly conflict between free thought and thinking deemed heretical -- make In Bruno's Shadow a novel for this moment.

Adria Bernardi, author of Benefit Street

An exquisite novel, elegantly written, as well as compassionate and exact in its observations of its characters' moments of grace and connection. Kaleidoscopic and immersive, In Bruno's Shadow is a truly international novel brimming with incidents at once magical and wholly plausible.

Christine Sneed, author of Little Known Facts

OK, this novel is brilliant. I marvelled at the depth and complexity of feeling and history, and the faith that permeates the text. Actually, brilliant, as in diamonds, doesn't say it; say magnitude, like in stars.

David Bradley, author of The Chaneysville Incident

Rome is mother of exiles and outcasts in Tony Ardizzone's In Bruno's Shadow. Both a spiritual journey and a political inquiry, this remarkable novel presents Rome as a character in itself. Fittingly, the city's divine architecture shapes the book's action. Each chapter forms a madonella, a street shrine in which Ardizzone's diverse pilgrims confess their sins and express their hopes.

Anthony Di Renzo, author of Trinàcria: A Tale of Bourbon Sicily

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About the author

Tony Ardizzone is the author of five novels and three collections of short stories. His award-winning fiction has been featured in literary journals and anthologies published in both North America and Italy and been the subject of discussion by critics from the United States, Canada, Italy, and Greece.