Into the insular town of 1930s Ferrara, a new doctor arrives. Fadigati is hopeful and modern, and more than anything wants to fit into his new home. But his fresh, appealing appearance soon crumbles when the townsfolk discover his homosexuality, and the young man he pays to be his lover humiliates him publicly.
As anti-Semitism spreads across Italy, the Jewish narrator of the tale begins to feel pity for the ostracized doctor, as the fickle nature of a community changing under political forces becomes clear. The Gold-Rimmed Spectacles is a gripping and tragic study of how lives can be destroyed by those we consider our neighbours.
Giorgio Bassani was born in 1916. From 1938 onwards he became involved in various anti-fascist activities for which he was imprisoned in 1943. His works include The Gold-Rimmed Spectacles, and Five Stories of Ferrara (Within the Walls), which won the Strega Prize. The Garden of the Finzi-Continis was awarded the Viareggio Prize in 1962 and was made into a feature film.