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The Book Award The Bridge 2015

Italian Fiction Winner

Lacci, Einaudi 2014

"In case you have forgotten, sir, I’m going to remind you: I'm your wife." This is how the letter begins. This is the letter Vanda writes to her husband who ran away from home, leaving her in the grip of a storm of impotent rage and questions that do not have an answer. They married young in the early sixties, because of a desire for independence, but then the world around them has changed, and now in their thirty plus they find that to have a family has become a sign of backwardness rather than autonomy. So now he lives in Rome, in love with a young woman with whom the days are always joyful, and she in Naples with the children, where she suffers for the growth of silence and estrangement. What are we willing to sacrifice in order not to feel trapped? And what do we lose when we choose to retrace our steps? Nothing is more radical than abandonment, but nothing is more tenacious of those invisible bonds that tie people to one another. And sometimes just a minimal gesture can bring back what we have tried to put aside. Domenico Starnone gives us an emotional and powerful story, a tale of abandonment, return, and all the failures that seem insurmountable and that accompany us for a lifetime.

Domenico Starnone (Saviano, near Naples,1943) is an Italian writer, screenwriter and journalist. He lives in Rome. He has worked for several newspapers and satirical magazines, including L'Unità, Il Manifesto, Tango, and Cuore, usually about episodes of his life as a high school teacher. He also works as screenwriter. The movies La scuola (by Daniele Luchetti) and Denti (by Gabriele Salvatores) are based on his books. He is the author of eight novels, and numerous books of non-fiction. In 2001, he was the recipient of Italy’s most prestigious literary prize, the Strega, with the novel Via Gemito.