Sandro Veronesi


Sandro Veronesi is a novelist, journalist and essayist. He graduated in Architecture from the University of Florence, the city where he was born in 1959.

His novel La forza del passato (The Force of The Past) won the Campiello and the Viareggio prizes in 2000, and has been published in the US.

In 2005 Sandro Veronesi wrote Caos Calmo (Quiet Chaos). Translated in 20 languages, this novel won the most prestigious Italian literary prize, the Strega Prize, but also several other prizes in France and Spain.

In 2010 he wrote his most recent novel, XY (already widely translated, see below) and in 2011 he published Baci scagliati altrove (Kisses Blown Elsewhere), a collection of short stories.

He writes for Italian newspapers and literary magazines. His works in non-fiction include Occhio per occhio (Eye For An Eye), a study of the death penalty in four different places around the world (Sudan, Taiwan, Soviet Union and California).

Sandro Veronesi is also the founder of the Italian publishing house Fandango, along with Domenico Procacci.


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It all begins on a cold winter’s day, with the snow falling heavily. At Borgo San Giuda, a small town in the Alps, an empty sledge arrives, dragged by a horse which seems to be mad, and terrified.

Three men decide to go and see what’s happened, and they become witnesses of an indefinable scene,  partially hidden by the snow: eleven dead people in the wood. Eleven people died at the same time, in a flash, but for eleven different reasons, some of which are absurd, impossible. The remains of their bodies are now scattered around a frozen tree. The tree is, covered with ice and redden by blood. It seems to send out a pulsing, soft light.

A massacre, absolute evil, a divine punishment. Suddenly the 42 inhabitants of Borgo San Giuda are in the middle of a media storm, and they are overwhelmed by the events: their personal, normal weaknesses  begin to turn into madness.

A priest, Don Ermete, and a young psychiatrist, Giovanna Gassion, help them. We follow the story through their eyes; they try to find a reason for what happened, but neither faith nor science can help them.

In the form of a thriller, XY is a deep investigation into psychology and the human condition. The novelwon the Super Flaiano prize for fiction in 2011. It has been translated in ten languages already.


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  1. Jen says:

    Just wanted to let someone know that the link to the XY website brings up an Italian sex site instead. The same thing happens on Sandro Veronesi’s official website. I’m trying to find out if XY’s been translated into English yet (I assume it has), but wound up instead reading (bad) advice in Italian about how to get your wife to agree to cuckold you. :)


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