Michele Mari is one of Italy’s most renowned contemporary writers. He has published ten novels, in addition to several short story and poetry collections, and has received prestigious awards including the the Bagutta Prize, the Mondello Prize and the Selezione Campiello Prize. A former professor of Italian literature at the University of Milan, he has translated classic novels by Herman Melville, George Orwell, John Steinbeck and H. G. Wells. In a survey published by the magazine Orlando Esplorazioni in 2015, Mari was ranked the contemporary Italian author most likely to be read by generations to come.


Kirkus starred review

'Short stories from an Italian maestro finally translated into English [...] Amusing, disturbing, intoxicating tales of childhood terrors and obsessions.’

Publishers Weekly, starred review

‘Mari makes his English-language debut with a dazzling and sometimes surreal collection of reminiscences on childhood obsessions. [...] Mari delivers trenchant satires of nostalgia with deadpan grace and wit, resulting in stories that are as heartfelt as they are humorous, with great care given to descriptions of the characters’ foibles and idiosyncrasies. This is not to be missed.’

Domenico Starnone

‘If I were to give a book award to a living Italian writer, man or woman, I'd pick Michele Mari.’    

Andrea Coccia

‘The greatest living Italian writer.’

Elena Stancanelli
La Repubblica

‘Michele Mari has written only beautiful books. The most beautiful of the beautiful is the short story collection You, Bleeding Childhood.’  

Sara Marzullo

‘The charm that Mari exercises on his readers, from the most devoted to the most distracted, is incredible . . . More than anyone else, Michele Mari represents today a model of writer that seems on the point of disappearing – fully literary, lofty, in short, twentieth-century.’

Alida Airaghi

‘Emotion, anger, nostalgia: but also affectionate humour, indulgent sympathy [in] a work that masterfully combines elegance and irony, psychological acumen and an understanding of form, eclectic culture and emotional vulnerability. [The work of a child] who developed an unstoppable passion for adventure books, for comics . . . [who] cultivated a fetishistic relationship with thought, with the imagination; but also with a stubborn self, wounded by the intensity of his perceptions.’

Pietro Citati
La Repubblica

‘Michele Mari's mythology is that of the great darkness of Romanticism, even if he contemplates the oceans and the far places of the Earth from the safety of his library. I don't know if he is devoured . . . by an obsession, or if he is deeply enchanted . . . as by a vision he had in a dream . . . [But] he loves the darkness: crisscrossed by lightning, furrowed by thin trails of light. Around that night, his skillful rhetoric builds an endless echo chamber, in which his one voice resounds with the manifold voices of literature itself.’

Tiziano Gianotti

‘The world of Michele Mari is a world where monsters and tutelary gods (interchangeable?), where sixteenth-century literature and classic sci-fi pocket paperbacks coexist in sinister harmony; where writing is exorcism and never punishment: the only way to escape the quotidian . . . Mari is one of those writers who feed on their own obsessions, know how to paint them with words and phrases, to arrange those phrases into novels embodying those same obsessions.’

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