The Neorealist in Winter

Winner of the 2022 Fiction Prize, selected by Venita Blackburn

US List Price: $18.95

Buy Now

Also available as e-book.

The Neorealist in Winter

Winner of the 2022 Fiction Prize, selected by Venita Blackburn

US List Price: $18.95

Buy Now

Also available as e-book.

About the Book

Salvatore Pane’s The Neorealist in Winter is a collection of eleven short stories that explore what it means to be human in an age of media oversaturation. Utilizing methods of speculative, historical, and postmodern storytelling, Pane grapples with legacies of immigration, poverty, toxic masculinity, and moral failures, while focusing on working-class issues, family drama, and PTSD. Following eleven Italian narrators, Pane builds a cast of cinematic characters across disparate times and places—a struggling director attends a house party in the la dolce vita of 1960s Rome, gangsters chase a low-level lottery runner in coal valley Scranton, a woman contemplates experimental surgery to purge memories of her childhood trauma in Minnesota, and a pro wrestling promoter descends into self-denial through his autobiography.

Watch bookseller Chris Lee from Boswell Books interview Salvatore about the collection.


Praise for The Neorealist in Winter

Vivid fiction that asks how you can run from your past when it made you who you are.
Kirkus Review

In his new short story collection, The Neorealist in Winter, Salvatore Pane leverages his truth as an Italian-American, as a connoisseur of pop culture, and as a keen observer of the human experience. . . . I implore you—treat yourself to this collection as soon as you can.
— Ovunque Siamo

These stories ache and bend into the convex shapes of despair without necessarily pining for seasons of respite. In the scratch that is ordinary tragedy and extraordinary expectations, a light pulses in these characters filled with language for obsession, adoration, and fury.
—Venita Blackburn, author of How to Wrestle a Girl: Stories

A wildly inventive book that’s both hilarious and heartbreaking, about the strange comforts we find in desperate moments: a man holds off his sorrows by obsessively watching Goodfellas; a son copes with his absent father via professional wrestling; a woman works through trauma by way of a talking-animal sitcom. Salvatore Pane is a writer alert to all the puzzling paths that healing sometimes takes, a writer of profound insight and honesty and pure gracious human compassion.
—Nathan Hill, author of Wellness: A Novel

Take a breath between these thrilling stories: you’re about to meet characters on the verge of something great or calamitous, navigating a range of worlds from the hyper-real present to the sepia-toned past. Salvatore Pane delivers each cinematic scene with deft narrative urgency and economy, blending fact and fiction in a way that feels thematically true not only to the Italian American experience, but to the harrowing experience of being alive.
—Christopher Castellani, author of Leading Men

Sal Pane gleefully bounds back and forth across two continents over the course of a century to portray a breadth of Italian American experiences in stories that are funny, triumphant, and beautifully sad. This book is a showcase for his ability to bend form to his will in service of complex, mature emotions. And Pane’s characters are searchers; in these stories he captures that powerful mix of grief and exhilaration that comes in the moment of leaving home and all the moments afterwards when someone chooses to stay gone. It’s also a book about that oh so classically American theme: failure. The failure to connect, the failure to clearly know ourselves and our world, the failure to hold onto family and the past and the guilt that attends it. This is a fabulous story collection that taps deeply into the joy and pain, the triumph and tragedy, of anyone who is really alive.
— Chris Lee, Boswell Books

Salvatore Pane was born and raised in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He is the author of two novels, Last Call in the City of Bridges and The Theory of Almost Everything, and a book of nonfiction, Mega Man 3. His shorter work won the Turow-Kinder Award judged by Stewart O’Nan, was nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and […]

Learn More