*************May 16, 2023
PRAISE FOR SOUTH: A NOVEL:
“A sweeping story of family, community, and country, South is a saga in the truest sense of the word. In lush, enthralling, often funny prose, Fortunato beautifully captures both the great dramas and small poignancies that make up a life.”—Francesca Giacco, author of Six Days in Rome
“Gorgeous, sensual, seductive, and magnetic…a journey through time, history, space, passions.”—Giornale di Brescia
“[Fortunato’s] most beautiful book…a family saga with all the nuances of love and pain.”—Convenzionali
ABOUT SOUTH: A NOVEL:
Partly autobiographical, part comedy, Fortunato took inspiration from those closest to him: his mother (apart of a Jewish bourgeois family with French roots) and his father (from an antifascist, leftish bourgeois family), waiting for the appropriate time to tell their stories after their passing.
Also inspired by Southern Italy’s literature cliches, aristocracy, impoverished families and mafia). he has crafted a story out of these tropes. In the end, SOUTH transports us across time and space with its masterful prose, exploring how it feels to yearn for what one once had.
Set amongst ruins in the sun-drenched city of Manga Grecia, SOUTH is an Italian history lesson wrapped within a family’s story—a lovely mix of life, love, politics, historical tragedies, and a hint of comedy.
Told from the perspective of Valentino, a young man looking to leave behind his home for a better life elsewhere, this narrative deals with the universal experience of longing and regret.
With the passage of time, Valentino begins to miss the people and place that he left behind, wrestling with the absoluteness of change.
The novel pulls us back to when notaries and lawyers were undiscussed authorities in small towns.
A cast of characters richen and enliven the story: The Notaio and his lover Magda, a Polish countess and spy; the Farmacista, his wife Lea, and their children; Tamara, who marries into the Notaio’s family; likeable Uncle Giogio, an extravagant loner; and Gioacchino, the house ghost.
interwoven paths and see how they each make up a portion of a larger
ABOUT THE AUTHOR AND TRANSLATOR:
© Rino Bianchi
About the author: Mario Fortunato was born in Cirò, Calabria, Italy.
For three decades he worked as a literary critic for the Italian current affairs magazine L’Espresso and continues to work as a columnist for the German daily paper Süddeutsche Zeitung.
He has been a member of the Italian Cinema Commission of the Ministry of Culture and the International Advisory Board of the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, is a founder of the Napoli Teatro Festival Italia, and Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in London.
He is also a former director of the Antonio Ratti Art Foundation and former columnist for The Guardian and Le Monde.
In addition to writing novels, he has translated into Italian works by Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf, and Henry James. South is his first novel to appear in English.
About the translator: Julia MacGibbon has translated works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, including Marta Barone’s Sunken City. She lives near Rome.