The Transaction

Essential Prose Series

Fiction - Literary
236 Pages
Reviewed on 08/16/2020
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Author Biography

Guglielmo D’Izzia is an actor and writer who hails from Sicily. His artistic pursuits have led him to some of the greatest cities in the world: Rome, New York City, and eventually Toronto, where he now resides. He’s a proud graduate of the creative writing program at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies. The Transaction, his debut novel, won the 2016 Marina Nemat Award, was an award-winning finalist of 2020 International Book Awards (Literary Fiction category), and was officially selected for the 2020 Cannes Film Festival | Shoot the Book! program. He was also one of the winners of The Miramichi Reader’s “The Very Best!” Book Awards “Most Promising Author” 2020. He’s currently working on his second novel and several other projects including a translation from the Italian and a spec script for a TV miniseries.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jon Michael Miller for Readers' Favorite

In Guglielmo D’Izzia’s novel The Transaction, the protagonist narrates his own story in a semi-hypnotic voice, describing his Kafkaesque venture into a remote Sicilian village, presumably as an agent to purchase a property. It’s a rough trip described in minute detail by a voice without a backstory. We evaluate him strictly by his observations and reactions which are often blurred by his illnesses and wounds. He shows us the village and its people, gets attacked by wild dogs, has some arguments, and suffers from the provincial prejudice toward strangers. The owner of the property is mysteriously killed, and our protagonist attends the funeral and develops an unexplained connection with the murdered man’s eleven-year-old daughter. The narrator is continually warned to leave but persists even after it’s evident the transaction will not go through. Apparently, the novel’s title refers to another kind of transaction, e.g., a stranger’s engagement with uninviting country folk.

If it is true that works of art last for generations because of their ambiguities, The Transaction should last for centuries. I was left with the sensation of what happened? and that’s not a bad thing in literature. I sensed engagement with something beyond the narrator’s minutely detailed descriptions as if it might be a dream. I kept reading. Guglielmo D’Izzia is a skilled, disciplined artist refusing to give the reader clarity of meaning and motivation. He makes us interpret, and we readers of great literature value our own involvement in a piece. Something intriguing is going on here, and few of us will see it in the same way. I can just imagine the discussions around seminar tables. We learn more from what is not said, than from what is. And I say, bravo!