My First Seven Years (plus a Few More) by Dario Fo
A great coming-of-age novel, My First Seven Years (plus a few more) is Dario Fo's fantastic fictionalised memoir of his formative years, following his railwayman father around the various villages on the shores of Lago Maggiore in Northern Italy where they lived. Born in 1926 and growing up between the wars, Fo witnessed at close hand the struggles between Fascists and Partisans in the mountainous north.The novel is filled with the anecdotes, characters and sketches that were the inspiration for the creative genius of this winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature (1997). Above all it is a book filled with the characteristic vitality and humour that springs from all his of his written work. More than just a memoir, My First Seven Years is a work of literature that follows in a great line of imaginative childhood accounts, such as Proust's Remembrance of Things Past and Fournier's Le Grand Meaulnes, through, Italo Calvino's Marcovaldo stories.