“Erri De Luca, one of Italy’s bestselling authors, was born in Naples in 1950, and understands perfectly the city’s obscure exuberance of life. The Day Before Happiness, a novella, unfolds amid the card-sharps, prostitutes and barefoot scugnizzi (urchins) who scrimped and scuffled in the city during the postwar years. The narrator, an orphan, is very much a product of the moral and material ruins of fascism, being disaffected and homeless.”
…this the introduction to De Luca and this novel on:
“No doubt The Day Before Happiness is intended to capitalise on the worldwide success of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan quartet. By comparison De Luca’s book is no masterpiece, but those who love Naples (as I do) will find something to enjoy here.”
I would agree.