With this book we are happy to inaugurate a collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute in London.
Domenico Starnone gave the following answer in response being asked by I-Italy, ‘If you were to give a book award to a living Italian writer, man or woman, whom would you pick and why?’:
‘Many of my friends, men and women, are good writers whom I’ve been following for years and for whom I have high regard and affection. It would be difficult for me to give an award to this one rather than that. But I want to name a writer I don’t know personally, and yet I’ve been reading his books with pleasure because they are outside the box. I’m referring to Michele Mari.’
Michele Mari spoke to the New Yorker about You, Bleeding Childhood – you can read the interview here.
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.’
‘If I were to give a book award to a living Italian writer, man or woman, I'd pick Michele Mari.’
‘The greatest living Italian writer.’
‘Michele Mari has written only beautiful books. The most beautiful of the beautiful is the short story collection You, Bleeding Childhood.’
‘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.’
‘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.’
‘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.’
‘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.’