The Life of Umberto Cavallo and Other Matters (Paperback)
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*Note: First Edition revised April 2018. "The Life of Umberto Cavallo and Other Matters" is the story of an immigrant's struggles. It begins in northern Italy in 1885, where Berto, as a small boy, secretly visits his demented grandfather, and upon hearing the old man's far-fetched anxieties, must decide whether to protect him from his fears. In a world teeming with poverty, desperation and sacrifice, the story tumbles across oceans and lives. It crosses paths with murderous gauchos and lonely farmers, and culminates in one man's attempt to decipher a destructive individualism boring through the family tree, and answer the question: what is the psychological cost of emigration (and which generation shall pay it)? At times comedic and tragic, and spanning not only four continents and five generations, but the width of the human heart in conflict with itself, this novel pulls you toward the finish with an unrelenting hold. An earlier version of The Life of Umberto Cavallo and Other Matters was a Finalist in the Santa Fe Writers Project fiction contest (2010). This novel is both literary and historical. It is a family saga and a geographic journey. Fans of Jonathan Franzen's "The Corrections" and Elsa Morante's "History: a Novel," as well as those of classic authors like Pat Conroy, Irene Nemirovsky, John Steinbeck, and Pacific Northwest writer Ivan Doig, may appreciate this novel.
About the Author
JOEL AUGEE grew up in Portland, Oregon and practiced business law for eighteen years. Since 2010 he has taught law and writing courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels, and he currently is an Assistant Professor with the School of Business at Marylhurst University. He is a member of the Oregon State Bar and, when his schedule allows, he handles immigration cases for minors, pro bono. He lives in Tualatin, Oregon with his wife and two sons.