The Bishop's Bedroom

Piero Chiara (Author) Jill Foulston (Translator)

Product Details

$15.95  $14.67
New Vessel Press
Publish Date
November 05, 2019
5.2 X 0.6 X 7.9 inches | 0.35 pounds
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About the Author

Piero Chiara (1913-1986) was a leading Italian author of the 20th century who won over a dozen literary prizes and whose work is marked by psychological depth, melancholy humor and a grasp of the essence of everyday life. The Bishop's Bedroom is the most celebrated of his many acclaimed novels.

Jill Foulston is the translator of novels by Erri de Luca, Augusto de Angelis and Piero Chiara. She lives in London.


"Like Tom Ripley and Dickie Greenleaf in [Patricia] Highsmith's best-known novel, the central characters in 'The Bishop's Bedroom' orbit one another like ballroom doppelgängers until it's difficult to tell who is lying to whom or why ... This is a strong, well-written and weirdly seductive little novel about enjoying the small pleasures of life."
--New York Times Book Review

"Chiara's engrossing novel of loafing lotharios in post-WWII Italy hums with suspense ... Readers will be swept away by this lush, gothic-tinged mystery and its unscrupulous characters."
--Publishers Weekly

"Chiara's brief masterwork turns insinuation into high art ... A first-rate book that is both a moody suspense novel and a haunting allegory."
--Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

"Happily, this hypnotic novel, a mix of thriller and mood piece on the nature of sexual attraction, has finally been translated into English ... The sexual tension crackles ... The suspense is as palpable as the unmistakable echoes of Patricia Highsmith."

"For such a wicked and wanton novel, The Bishop's Bedroom is as tightly-controlled and queasily suspenseful as the best of Patricia Highsmith. It seduced me from its atmospheric opening pages to its shocking and satisfying final act."
--Christopher Castellani, author of Leading Men

"Piero Chiara's novel is at once a murder mystery and a lyrical study of desire, greed, and deception. The ending is simply stunning."
--André Aciman, author of Call Me by Your Name

"Piero Chiara's dark idyll of erotic entanglements in post-WWII Italy was a revelation to me: a character study of sinister power, a beautiful evocation of the dolce vita on Lake Maggiore, and an unnerving portrayal of the predatory sexual mores of another world that mirrors those of our own in the strangest, most unexpected ways."
--James Lasdun, author of The Fall Guy and Give Me Everything You Have

"Many try to write the seductive literary thriller set in romantic Italy, but it takes a real master like Piero Chiara to show how it's done. The Bishop's Bedroom is sharp and sophisticated, a mystery with a keen awareness of the social forces that pull at its web. I didn't want it to end."
--Christopher Bollen, author of A Beautiful Crime and Orient

"I consider myself to be the son of Piero Chiara ... I was his devoted reader. I've always loved storytellers and Chiara had great powers of seduction."
--Andrea Camilleri, author of The Shape of Water

"Sensual and melancholy in equal measure, The Bishop's Bedroom is also a beautifully observed book."
--AFAR Magazine

"A poetic novel, stylishly structured and composed of tight perfectly judged prose ... never less than fascinating, engrossing ... The Bishop's Bedroom is an act of prestidigitation, a sleight of hand, it's riveting, entrancing and delicious but so mysterious, thrilling."
--NB Magazine

"Gem of late 20th century Italian literature ... Taking an indirect approach to the thriller genre, Chiara has created a softly seductive narrative filled with nearly as many subtle mysteries as a gothic novel ... The narrative also sparkles with a bemused, ironic and piquant humor."

"An author universally known in Italy, who has received several literary prizes ... esteemed as one of the most talented of modern novelists."
--World Literature Today

"It's all very up-for-anything, postwar dolce vita ... You'll fall under the book's pleasurable, slightly sinister spell and find satisfaction."
--Air Mail

"Suspenseful ... A compact novel that is rich in atmosphere. Chiara explores themes of greed, lust, and power and wraps them in a little murder mystery ... Engrossing."
--Historical Novels Review

"One of Piero Chiara's masterpieces."
--La Stampa

"An erotic charge is ready to explode at any moment ... One of the greatest works of 20th century Italian literature."
--Renzo Montagnoli