Translated from the Italian by Antony Shugaar
Summer, Palermo, early 1980s. The air hangs hot and heavy. The Mafia-ruled city is a powder keg ready to ignite. In a boxing gym, a fatherless nine-year-old boy climbs into the ring to face his first opponent.
So begins On Earth as It Is in Heaven, a sweeping multigenerational saga that reaches back to the collapse of the Italian front in North Africa and forward to young Davidù’s quest to become Italy’s national boxing champion, a feat that has eluded the other men of his family.
The brutal struggles for dominance among Davidù’s all male circle of friends; his strict but devoted grandmother, whose literacy is a badge of honor; his charismatic and manipulative great-uncle, who will become his trainer–the vicious scenes and sometimes unsympathetic characters Enia sketches land hard and true.
A meditation on physical violence, love and sex, friendship and betrayal, boxing and ambition, Enia’s novel is also a coming-of-age tale that speaks – sometimes crudely, but always honestly – about the joys and terrors of becoming a man.
About the Author
Davide Enia was born in 1974 in Palermo. He has written, directed, and performed in plays for the stage and the radio, and has been honored with the Ubu Prize, the Tondelli Award, and the ETI Award, Italy’s three most prestigious theater prizes. He lives and cooks in Rome. On Earth as It Is in Heaven is his first novel.