Into the insular town of 1930s Ferrara, a new doctor arrives. Fadigati is hopeful and modern, and more than anything wants to fit into his new home. But his fresh, appealing appearance soon crumbles when the townsfolk discover his homosexuality, and the young man he pays to be his lover humiliates him publicly.
As anti-Semitism spreads across Italy, the Jewish narrator of the tale begins to feel pity for the ostracized doctor, as the fickle nature of a community changing under political forces becomes clear. The Gold-Rimmed Spectacles is a gripping and tragic study of how lives can be destroyed by those we consider our neighbours.