This classic of war literature is the story of Guglielmo Petroni--not only his experiences in the hands of Fascist police and the Gestapo, but a meditation on the survival and growth of his compatriots and his nation. Terror, uncertainty, the fear of death, and the brutality he encounters at nearly every turn are all described in concrete terms, but the author's restrained tone, informed by a sense of paradox and the absurd, conveys a depth of feeling that makes this memoir all the more remarkable.
Guglielmo Petroni was born in 1911 in Lucca, Italy, and died in 1993 after a distinguished literary career. "The World Is a Prison" has been almost continuously in print in Italy since first being published in 1948. Italian critics consider it to be Petroni's masterpiece.