Curzio Malaparte was a disaffected supporter of Mussolini with a taste for danger and high living. Sent by an Italian paper during World War II to cover the fighting on the Eastern Front, Malaparte secretly wrote this terrifying report from the abyss, which became an international bestseller when it was published after the war. Telling of the siege of Leningrad, of glittering dinner parties with Nazi leaders, and of trains disgorging bodies in war-devastated Romania, Malaparte paints a picture of humanity at its most depraved. Kaputt is an insider's dispatch from the world of the enemy that is as hypnotically fascinating as it is disturbing.
Curzio Malaparte (pseudonym of Kur Eric Suckert, 1898-1957) was born in Prato and served in World War I. An early supporter of the Italian Fascist movement and a prolific journalist, Malaparte soon established himself as an outspoken public figure. In 1931 he incurred Mussolini's displeasure by publishing a how-to manual entilted Technique of the Coup-d'Etat, which led to his arrest and a brief term in prison. During World War II Malaparte worked as a correspondent, for much of the time on the Eastern Front, and this experience provided the basis for his two most famous books, Kaputt(1944) and The Skin (1949). Malaparte's political sympathies veered to the left after the war. He continued to write, while also involving himself in the theater and the cinema. Dan Hofstadter's last book was The Love Affair as a Work of Art, a study of French writers. Falling Palace, about daily life in contemporary Naples, was published in 2005.