The Dry Heart
Author: Natalia Ginzburg
Translator: Frances Frenaye
Publisher: New Directions (2019)
The Dry Heart begins and ends with the matter-of-fact pronouncement: “I shot him between the eyes.” As the tale―a plunge into the chilly waters of loneliness, desperation, and bitterness―proceeds, the narrator's murder of her flighty husband takes on a certain logical inevitability. Stripped of any preciousness or sentimentality, Natalia Ginzburg's writing here is white-hot, tempered by rage. She transforms the unhappy tale of an ordinary dull marriage into a rich psychological thriller that seems to beg the question: why don't more wives kill their husbands?