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The Fall

Diogo Mainardi's The Fall: A Father's Memoir in 424 Steps (Other Press, $20) is a father-son story in overlapping fragments, all centered on the story of Tito, Mainardi's son, who is born with cerebral palsy after a botched birth in a Venetian hospital. Mainardi structures his work as a series of 424 short chapters: one for each step his son takes in his longest journey. These passages loop back into each other—Mainardi illuminates the same events with increasing understanding, and broaches a range of topics as diverse as Abbott and Costello, the euthanasia program of the Third Reich, Neil Young's music and Dante's Inferno. The Fall connects the disparate, and what results is an artful collage of acceptance, growth and appreciation.