Solitude and Other Stories represents Arturo Vivante's quest to use writing to uncover hidden truths. These twenty-four short stories - set in Italy, New England, and Canada - explore various themes, including, as the title story says, solitude. Vivante begins the narrative with a self-oblivious solitude that will become loneliness. Day after day, night after night, Vivante's narrator becomes aware of his isolation, and he decides to seek the company of others. Companionship, therefore, becomes another theme developed in these stories. Although not explicitly autobiographical, many of these stories do have an autobiographical tone. Vivante writes about things that may have happened in his life. His stories often stem from the observation of a bright or meaningful moment, and always center on exploring the ideas and emotions of his characters. Written with clarity, simplicity, and sincerity, Solitude and Other Stories is a lovely collection from an accomplished author.
Arturo Vivante was born in Rome in 1923 and grew up in Italy, England, and Canada. He earned a medical doctorate from Rome University in 1949, but left his medical practice in the mid-1950s when his short stories began to be published. Seventy of his short stories have appeared in the New Yorker. He has published two novels, five short-story collections, and a book of poetry, Vivante has received numerous awards, including a Fulbright, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and an award from the American Academy. He currently resides in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.