Dino Buzzati (1906 – 1972) is arguably the most loved and renowned Italian short story writer of the twentieth century. He is most famous for his existentialist novel “The Tartare Steppe,” but his works are generally little known in English. From the age of 22 until his death he worked as a journalist at the Corriere della Sera. In this collection of stories, Buzzati “brings vividly to life the slow and quietly terrifying collapse of our known, everyday world. From “The Epidemic,” which traces the gradual effects of a “state influenza” that targets those who disagree with the government, to “The Collapse of Baliverna,” where a man puzzles over whether a misstep on his part caused the collapse of a building, Buzzati’s surreal unsettling tales reckon with the struggle that lies beneath everyday interactions, the sometimes perverse workings of human emotion and desires, and with wit and pathos describe the small steps we take as indivduals and as a society in our march toward catastrophe.”

With hints of Poe and Kafka, perhaps not a book for the conspiracy theorist in your life…

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book cover for Catastrophe by Dino Buzzati
Title: Catastrophe and other stories
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