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RELEASE DATE - 13 OCTOBER 2022
A multi-award-winning Italian debut, from a bold and original new voice in contemporary queer literature.
Jonathan is 31 years old, living in Milan with his boyfriend of three years and their two Devon Rex cats when, on a day like any other, he gets a fever. But unlike most, this fever doesn’t go away; it’s constant, low-level, and exhausting. After spending weeks Googling his symptoms and documenting his illness, he finally sees a doctor. A series of blood tests, anxious visits to hospitals, and repeated misdiagnoses ensue, until the truth is finally revealed: Jonathan is HIV-positive.
As Jonathan comes to terms with what this diagnosis will mean for him, his future, and his relationships, he also takes the reader back in time, in search of his history, to the suburbs where he grew up, and from which he feels he has escaped: Rozzano, the ghetto of Milan, and of Italy’s north. In the vein of Édouard Louis and Virginie Despentes, Fever is at once a deeply personal story and a searing examination of class, poverty, prejudice, and opportunity in modern Europe.
"Jagged and tender, forthright and sly, this book felt so committed to its fierce, wise vision of the joys and terrors of having a body and living a life. It tells us real things, in a rich voice, with force and passion and insight. I couldn’t put it down."
Ronnie Scott, author of The Adversary
"I couldn’t put it down. Jonathan Bazzi’s writing is immensely powerful."
Tomasz Jedrowski, author of Swimming in the Dark
"Jonathan Bazzi’s Fever promises to shed light on something quite specific, but ends up illuminating infinitely more. Here, in direct and unapologetic prose, brilliantly translated by Alice Whitmore, we are immersed in one man’s inner battle to assimilate an HIV diagnosis, yet we are never allowed to lose sight of the wider circumstances that give this battle its distinct emotional configuration: a deprived upbringing, an ill-equipped mother, a neo-fascist father, a suburban wasteland filled with wounded personalities, a precarious livelihood in a modern city, a treacherous online environment, a traumatised queer community, a politically dysfunctional nation. Shifting between anger and rebellion, on the one hand, and tenderness and forgiveness, on the other, Fever grips us first, then terrifies us, then moves us, then urges us, finally, to consider the question, ‘Who gets to be well, and why, and how?"
Gavin McCrea, author of Cells