Guest 2018.

Bibliography

Eva schläft
Blessing
München, 2011
Wagenbach
Berlin, 2018
[Ü: Bruno Genzler]
Über Meereshöhe
Blessing
München, 2012
[Ü: Bruno Genzler]
Alle, außer mir
Wagenbach
Berlin, 2018
[Ü: Esther Hansen

Francesca Melandri [ Italy ]

Francesca Melandri was born in 1964 in Rom. She worked as a screenwriter for, among others, the Adalbert Stifter adaptation of »Bergkristall«, the epic fairy tale »Fantaghirò« (Eng. The Cave of the Golden Rose) based on Italo Calvino, and the popular TV series »Don Matteo« starring Terrence Hill. She also directed the documentary »Vera« (2010), which is about a Holocaust survivor who was the only one of her family, who came from Zagreb, to escape the extermination. Now elderly and living near Rome, she has dedicated herself to raising thoroughbreds.

Her first novel »Eva dorme« (2010; Eng. »Eva Sleeps«, 2016) is set in South Tyrol, where Melandri lived for fifteen years. When her father, who was thought to have disappeared, asks on his deathbed for a last meeting, the protagonist sets off from Bolzano towards Reggio Calabria on the southern tip of the boot of Italy. Along the way, she reviews the past history of her single mother and the unstable history of the Alto Adige region. In retrospect, it becomes apparent how much the continual political conflict incisively impacts intimate relationships and not least the language used with one another, allowing the liberation and tenacity of a woman on her own to emerge even more brightly. The existential meaning of a series of encounters from long ago also surfaces in »Più alto del mare« (2012; tr: Higher than the Sea): During a visit to an isolated prison island on a stormy night in the late 1970s, a female mountain farmer and a professor emeritus of philosophy meet a law enforcement officer who feels just as isolated on the island as the prisoners who suffer under their transgressions and the daily humiliation. Melandri’s most recent novel »Sangue giusto« (2017; tr: Blood Right), spanning three generations, tackles the oft-ignored past colonial interventions by Italy. When a young African tells teacher Ilaria in front of her apartment that he is her nephew – and the name of her perpetually unreachable, withdrawn father is on his passport – she is confronted with the raw family and national history that has never been addressed before. To solve the mystery of her family relations, the protagonist must look to the Italian occupation of Ethiopia – developments that ultimately shed new light on feuds that continue to smolder and Europe’s responsibility for the current stream of refugees.

The author has received many national and international accolades, among them the Premio Rapallo Carige and the Premio Selezione Campiello; in 2018 she is a finalist for the Premio Strega. Her works have been translated into numerous European languages. Melandri lives in Rome.