Biography

Marosia Castaldi, born in 1951, was a Neapolitan writer and artist who spent most of her life in Milan, where she died in 2019. Her degree, from the University of Naples, was in philosophy, and after moving to Milan in 1971, she studied art at the Brera Academy. She exhibited work in galleries across Europe and in the US and taught creative writing seminars at the Scuola Holden in Turin and Lalineascritta in Naples. Her extraordinary and experimental literary oeuvre includes the short story collections Abbastanza prossimo (1986), Casa idiota (1990), Piccoli paesaggi (1993), the prose collection In mare aperto (2001), the theatrical text Calco (2008), and the novels Fermata km 501 (1997), Per quante vite (1999), Che chiamiamo anima (2002), Dava fine alla tremenda notte (2004), Il dio dei corpi (2006), and the monumental Dentro le mie mani le tue. Tetralogia di Nightwater (2007). The Hunger of Women, her first book to appear in English, was nominated for the Strega Prize in 2012.

Photo credit: Giovanni Giovannetti

Reviews


Publishers Weekly, starred review

‘Exquisitely rendered in a poetic stream-of-consciousness that brims with lush descriptions of Rosa’s recipes, Castaldi’s novel is an ode to pleasure, culinary and otherwise. Stirring and vulnerable, this is not to be missed.’


Rolling Stone (Italy)

‘Rosa is sick with anxiety and abandonment . . . Not uncommon if you’re a widow and have an elusive daughter. To fill the void [Rosa] begins to cook all sorts of dishes . . . Flavours meant to be handed down from mothers to daughters and which can be shared only with other women, grandiose in their fragility. The Neapolitan-Milanese Castaldi does not use punctuation, lets thought flow unchained, because life flows like water, and the search for one’s identity, always painful, always exhausting, manifests even in our food, the passions in our mouths and hearts.’

Lorenzo Licciardi
Roma Cultura

‘Marosia Castaldi's project would seem to be precisely that of revealing the wealth that resides in a woman's domestic microcosm, and the wisdom and passions that can be read among the ingredients of her kitchen.’

Francesco Durante
Corriere del Mezzogiorno

‘A hypnotic theatre of cruelty and tenderness in which the protagonist and narrator Rosa and her friends make vacuum cleaners buzz, exhibit the most lavish forms of desire, desire each other, and desperately, and above all make food, the food which is really the nourishment of the book itself, an obsession formalized here in something like a hundred recipes spread over just under two hundred pages.’

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