There are two of them in the boxing ring. One weighs 145 pounds, stands 5 foot 5, and is twenty-six years old. The other one? Nobody knows his weight and it doesn't matter how tall he is, he'll grow. No one has bandaged his wrists, he's wearing boxing gloves, he's bouncing on his toes in the ring. He's nine years old.
A dark, gripping coming-of-age tale that explores friendship and family, love and betrayal, masculinity and violence. In the early 1980s Mafia gang wars are tearing the precariously stitched-together city of Palermo apart. A fatherless nine-year-old boy climbs into a boxing ring to face his first opponent. Davide Enia's sweeping multigenerational saga reaches back to World War II and forward to talented young Davidù's quest to become a champion boxer for his country—a feat that has eluded the other men in his family. A sensation when published in Italy in 2012, On Earth as It Is in Heaven is at once an intimate account of Sicilian life and devastatingly universal. Translated by Antony Shugaar.