Congratulations are in order for Nino Ricci, who was recently awarded the 2008 Governor General's Award for Fiction for his novel The Origin of Species. In celebration of Nino's win, we've decided to spotlight Lives of the Saints, his first published book recently released in a new edition by Cormorant Books.
When young Vittorio Innocente’s mother, Cristina, is bitten by a snake during an encounter with a blue-eyed stranger in the family barn, the superstitions and prejudices rampant in their small Italian town immediately roil to the surface. But the worst is yet to come for the independent-minded Cristina. Eight months pregnant and unable to abide her treatment in the village any longer, Cristina books a passage to Canada for herself and Vittorio, although it will not be to join her irascible husband Mario, who sailed there when Vittorio was an infant.
A national bestseller for seventy-five weeks, Lives of the Saints won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, the Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Bressani Prize, and was adapted into a CBC miniseries starring Sophia Loren. It is the first novel in the Vittorio Innocente Trilogy.