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The Limit

The Limit

by Rosalind Belben, introduction by Paul Griffiths

Regular price $14.95
Regular price Sale price $14.95
Anna, an Englishwoman, has married, quite late in life, a merchant marine officer, an Italian. Beginning—and ending—at a point shortly before her death, the story told in The Limit focuses attention on her past and his future along lines of narrowing perspective. In the ten years of this odd couple’s life together, the limits of devotion have somehow been reached. And yet, when Anna can no longer speak and appears to understand nothing, Ilario feels closer to her than ever. But Anna, so old, ill, and wasted, is a child again.

This altogether singular, remarkable novel has been as good as unobtainable for decades. Its reissue has been long awaited by Rosalind Belben’s admirers.

Additional Book Information

Series: NYRB Classics
ISBN: 9781681377520
Pages: 112
Publication Date:


I can’t think of anyone writing in English (with the possible exception of Beckett) whose prose is so beautiful.
—David Plante

The grotesquerie is Swiftian, but the compassion is uniquely Miss Belben’s. The Limit becomes a great tribute to the overcoming strength of human love, and to the resilience of a human being even at the extremest margins of life. The book possesses the dying woman so amply as to make her, as we say—broaching fiction’s deepest paradox—live.
—Valentine Cunningham, The New Statesman

I’ve always admired the work of Rosalind Belben, a truly original writer, who has gone her own way all her life.
—Gabriel Josipovici

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