Melissa Rose Bernardo
October 20, 2006 AT 04:00 AM EDT

My First Seven Years (Plus a Few More)

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Dario Fo
publisher
Thomas Dunne Books
genre
Fiction

We gave it an B

Italian playwright/actor/socialist Dario Fo is, in his soul, a storyteller: part of an unheralded but inimitable line of fabulatori, and it shows in his new memoir, My First Seven Years (Plus a Few More). From fishermen and vendors (his grandfather is likened to ”a whole library”), the Nobel laureate learned to improvise and ”invent expressions” — which perhaps explains his painstakingly detailed accounts of life as a 6-year-old in northern Italy. He says that ”as children our senses are as receptive as photographic plates,” but whether he embellished his tales (translated faithfully into cacophonous English) is irrelevant; that he has 80 years of them is inspiring.

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