A young man escapes his painful past by retreating to the rustic comfort of the Italian Alps in this gorgeously wrought memoir from the internationally bestselling author of the “exquisite” (Annie Proulx) novel The Eight Mountains.
When life in the city becomes too overwhelming for Paolo, he decides to take refuge high in the Italian mountains. Returning to the breathtaking Valle d’Aosta—known for its snowcapped mountain peaks—after a decade’s absence, he rediscovers a simpler life and develops deep human connections with two neighbors. In this stunning landscape, he begins to take stock of his life and consider what he truly values.
With lyrical and evocative prose, The Wild Boy is a testament to the power of the natural world, the necessity of an ever-questioning mind, and the resilience of the human spirit.
Paolo Cognetti is an Italian writer, novelist, and editor from Milan. He divides his time between the city and his cabin in the Italian Alps. He is the author of The Wild Boy and The Eight Mountains, an international sensation that won Italy's Strega Prize and the French Prix Médicis étranger.
“Amiable and pleasant. . . . a gifted writer.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Cognetti’s beautifully written, thoughtful memoir will resonate with readers searching for escape to a simpler life.” —Publishers Weekly
Praise for The Eight Mountains
“A fine book, a rich, achingly painful story that is made for all of us who have ever felt a hunger for the mountains. Few books have so accurately described the way stony heights can define one's sense of joy and rightness. And it is an exquisite unfolding of the deep way humans may love one another.”–Annie Proulx
"Could Cognetti be the new Elena Ferrante?"–The Bookseller
“A novel that deals with deep themes – friendship, the relationship between generations, the management of one's life – in simple and precise yet evocative language.”–Corriere della Sera
“A timeless novel.”–Panorama
“Through essential yet extraordinarily evocative and intense language, Cognetti constructs a short novel that many have already called a classic, in which undoubtedly echo the masters who inspired it.” –Critica Letteraria
“Cognetti’s novel elegantly paints the terrifyingly beautiful landscape of the mountains at the heart of a brotherly friendship that proves to transcend anything.”–Booklist
"A slim novel of startling expansion that subtly echoes its setting."–Vogue
“A moving meditation on man in time and nature.”—World Literature Today