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Beppe Fenoglio

Beppe Fenoglio (1922–1963) was born into a working- class family in Alba, in the Piedmontese region of Italy, the son of a butcher. He enrolled in the University of Turin in 1940 (he would never receive his degree) and in January 1943 he was conscripted into the Italian army. Later that same year, following the German occupation of Italy, he and his brother Walter joined the partisan Resistance. A disastrous battle between partisans and Fascists forced the brothers to take refuge in the family home; the whole family was arrested and soon released, apart from the two young men, who were only freed as part of an exchange of prisoners. Fenoglio worked for a wine firm after the war and began to write. The Twenty-Three Days of the Town of Alba was published in 1952. It was followed by Ruins and Spring of Beauty, which won the Prato Prize in 1960. Fenoglio contracted lung cancer in 1962 and died the following year, just before his forty-first birthday. Some of his most famous works, including Johnny the Partisan, Saturday’s Pay, and A Private Affair, were published posthumously, through the efforts of friends and scholars.