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Author of short stories, novels, radio plays, songs and librettos for the theatre Dario Voltolini (Turin, 1959) has written, among others, 'Una Intuizione Metropolitana', 'Rincorse', 'Forme d'onda', '10', 'Primaverile', 'Le scimmie sono inavvertitamente uscite dalla cabbia', 'Foravìa', 'Pacific Palisades' and 'II Giardino degli Aranci'.

'Invernale' is a powerful novel, one that knocks you down as it lifts you up and grabs you from behind as it stares you in the face - and Voltolini is a great writer, there is little you can do about it.
Sandro Veronesi- Two times Strega Prize


"I have seen Voltolini handle almost all human circumstances in his stories. At first, I thought he had a writer's bag bulging with little tools, procured who knows where, suitable for making people laugh, move, unveil, reflect. Now I realised that he only has one tool and he has built it himself. All he needs is a pocket to carry it around and he does everything wonderfully with it.
Nobody else has it."

Davide Longo- Provincial Requiem

Titolo: Invernale ( Wintry)

Autore: Dario Voltolini

Editore: La nave di Teseo pp 146

The father splits animals, gets into their guts, separates muscles from membranes, removes organs and bones. The father sells pieces of animals. The father dives into the biological chasm and pulls steaks out of it. Meat cuts are his trade and his art. The father is a butcher. The father's task is to go into the dead flesh and come out of it by handing it to the living, so that life can continue its voracious chain. He is a ferryman between the two sides of the meat, between viande and chair, between meat and flesh. At the market stall, he serves the fearful who do not face the bodies they eat, who do not want to know, delegating the dirty work to the butchers. One day something goes wrong in the perfect choreography of the blades and a crooked cut almost takes off a thumb. It is the beginning of another descent into flesh, this time his own. At work, a bacterium has contaminated him. It starts with an infection, continues with exhaustion, a feral diagnosis, medical protocols, trips to clinics abroad. His 20-year-old son Dario plunges his gaze into his father's deteriorating flesh, and into the melancholy of his departure. A strong intimacy envelops them, as happens almost only in the relationship between daughters and mothers. We enter into the son's gaze, prehensile and exact, as he sees his father keel over. Precision is the form his devotion and suffering take. Tiziano Scarpa - Strega Prize

Lo sguardo del figlio ventenne è ammantato di umanità, avvolto nel pudore; mai giudicante,

sfiora come una rondine la vita dei genitori e infine la penetra. Si interroga sul male, ci consegna

la sua sofferenza, accarezza e piange il padre, pagina dopo pagina. Si respira ossequio, intelligenza, garbo. Invernale è un romanzo scritto in stato di grazia, intriso di riflessioni fulminanti, traboccante d'amore e un grande rispetto. Federica De Paolis

Ho finito il libro di Dario. Che bellezza, che potenza. L'ultimo capitolo, ero in treno, l'ho letto con le lacrime, non commosso, singhiozzando. Gli ho scritto. Che fuoriclasse. Simone Salomoni

"Literary mastery, heartbreak, composed fury, beauty, despair and modesty. The last pages of this book are read with tears in one's eyes."

Antonio Moresco author of The Games of Eternity


"Everything that is made of flesh, and bones, is destined to contaminate, clash and injure. The set of "Invernale" is a butcher's bench, therefore an ideal set. With his dry, tender and brutal style, Voltolini attempts to answer one of the questions that accompany us on the path of a person's loss and reconquest: when did it begin, how? Is there a moment when one begins to die? It is said that death is part of life and should be understood as such. But the opposite is also true and this book shows us that.
If there is a passage between the realm of the living and the realm of the dead, this book traverses it: 'weighing' the stuff we are made of. Fascinating, vaguely Egyptian, Voltolini's "Invernale" takes us on the most common and mysterious of journeys in a highly original way."

Letizia Muratori, Spifferi


English sample available

The Simone Salomoni author enjoys creating the same game with his readers that he creates between his characters: he draws them close, then pulls them away, circuits and seduces them, only to abandon them just before physical contact. It is a tribal dance, once again, but one that has a superfine elegance in its steps. It is a violence that one is entranced by and willingly indulges in.

Operaprima marks a not easy debut. In our opinion, expectations of an operasecond are very high. David Valentini

David Valentini

"If courage, therefore, is the only characteristic that can make one work superior to another, according to a passage in the novel, then it will be a case of taking one's hat off to this union of creator and creation that is not afraid to take the risk of the enterprise and, in so doing, earn a place in the wunderkammer of prodigies destined to remain." Stefano Bonazzi

This is what is encapsulated in the core of Operaprima, Simone Salomoni's debut novel, published by Alter Ego Edizioni: the search for and dismemberment of the truth of which art is the bearer, the forms that change and adapt, and the abyss that brings to the surface the hidden bestialities of the human being.

Title: Operaprima

Author: Simone Salomoni

Publisher: AlterEgo, pp 176


Monghidoro, Bolognese Apennines. A 40-year-old painter is intent on preparing for the exhibition that should launch his career when Marie Bertrand-a lawyer and mother of Simone Salomoni-rents the portion of his house adjacent to hers for the summer. Marie and Simone experience a strong fascination with the man, but it is mostly the teenager who opens up to him. She confesses past abuse and a present of self-harm and promiscuous sexuality. She opens wide the deep cavern of her self by allowing the painter to read her stories. The artist is thus forced to choose between the desire to care for Simone - becoming her mentor and guide - and the need to regain lost sexual vigor and inspiration. "Operaprima" gems from the chaos where all forms tend to dissolve, presenting not the usual tension to the creative value of art as much as a disintegration determined to demand a painful synthesis of physicality and verb, body and word. Salomoni tells a powerful story in which the work of art and its creator merge into an intimate and dramatic confession.

Operaprima marks a not easy debut. High are, in our opinion, the expectations toward an "operasecond."David Valentini

"If courage then, in the words of one passage in the novel, is the only characteristic that can make one work superior to another, it will be a case of taking one's hat off to this union of creator and creation that is not afraid to take the risk of the enterprise and, in so doing, earn a space in the wunderkammer of prodigies destined to remain." Stefano Bonazzi


Simone Salomoni was born in Bologna in 1979. A graduate in Contemporary Italian Literature, he scripts commercials, videos and immersive virtual reality experiences. One of his installations was created and projected in the courtyard of Palazzo Foscari during Venice Art Night 2021.He teaches storytelling and narrative techniques in the Expert Mixed Reality course of FITSTIC (Fondazione ITS Tecnologie Industrie Creative Technologies) and is a lecturer in the Storytelling Workshop directed by Giulio Mozzi.

"Art only exists if what we do is known and recognised by others, without others we remain alone, no armour, we remain alone with the certainty that everything could collapse, would collapse even in front of the prodigy of a new work destined to conquer time. " Simone Salomoni

Franco Stelzer

Franco Stelzer was born in Trento in 1956.
He spent many years in Bologna and Germany: he was a teacher and translator from German . For Einaudi he published Ano di volpi argentate ( 2000) Il nostro primo, solenne, stranissimo Natale senza di lei ( 2003) Cosa diremo agli angeli ( 2018) and for Maestrale Matematici nel sole ( 2009) 

Winner 2024 Bergamo Prize

Title: The Light Stretcher

Author: Franco Stelzer

Publisher: Hopefulmonster, pp 2023, pp 88


5,0 su 5 stelle Prosa raffinata

Recensito in Italia il 10 agosto 2023

Acquisto verificato

Stelzer racconta con una prosa raffinatissima una storia d'amore delicata e struggente e crea un personaggio, Bodo, indimenticabile.




Paolo Dellachà

5,0 su 5 stelle Ci vorrebbero più libri come questo

Recensito in Italia il 1 luglio 2023

Acquisto verificato

Scrittura asciutta, rigorosa ed efficace.

Bodo lives with his mother near the Lorettoberg (Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany). Bodo and his mother work in their workshop: washing, ironing. Bodo likes ironing shirts. Pillowcases, less so. Whenever possible, before going to sleep, he looks out of the window and the breeze coming down from the Lorettoberg comforts him. Bodo falls asleep melancholy and serene. He is simple-hearted, but has sometimes unsettling enthusiasms, kept calm pharmacologically. Bodo loves his mother. Bodo falls in love with a customer. When she and her family return to her country just over the border in France, Bodo's love takes over all of Bodo. Bodo is a wonderful character, created by the art of Franco Stelzer, a master storyteller, a pen that does not write: it tattoos. Bodo is a gift Stelzer gives us, he is a presence we do not forget. The text has Central European sounds and ribbing, a soul that echoes non-Italian literature, but inlaid with a profoundly Italian language, as beautiful as a snow crystal. A tale whose precise and measured dose of enchantment makes the prose and its rhythm capable of painting such a creature, Bodo, adhering to its delicate dementia with all the complexity and intelligence of the voice that narrates it. The writer demonstrates extreme confidence of hand. His empathy for the figure he is inventing is total, with a hint of cruel harshness that concerns Bodo, but above all, exemplarily through him, all of us. This love story is a powerful whisper. The absolute pain that runs through it, however, only comes in second, because the winner, on a knife's edge, is instead a mysterious and inalienable happiness.


Title: L'età ridicola (The Ridiculous age)

Author: Margherita Giacobino

Publisher: Mondadori, 2018, pp 270

Kitchen Production exercised its option for the film, which is currently being made.

The English edition, which is being translated and published by Dedalus Publishing in the UK, was made possible by a translation grant from Cepell.blishing, è stata possibile grazie alla sovvenzione alla traduzione del Cepell. 

Writer, journalist and translator, Margherita Giacobino was born in Turin, where she lives and works. She made her debut in 1993 with Un'americana a Parigi (Baldini & Castoldi).  Her novels include Casalinghe all'inferno (Baldini & Castoldi, 1996), an international bestseller that anticipated the glorious trend of American women's fiction; L'educazione sentimentale di C.B. (La Tartaruga, 2007); La morte è giovane, written under the pseudonym of Rita Gatto and published by Salani in 2009; L'uovo fuori dal cavagno (Elliot, 2010); Ritratto di famiglia con bambina grassa (Mondadori, 2015), translated in France (Stock), Germany (Kunstmann) and the UK (Dedalus Ltd); Il prezzo del sogno (Mondadori, 2017), a fictionalised biography of Patricia Highsmith and fresco of an era whose translation rights have been sold in the UK (Dedalus); L'età ridicola (Mondadori 2018). Your Look at Me was published on 12 January 2021.

The old woman lives alone with her elderly cat Veleno and the memories of a love affair that has ended (her beloved Lena has been dead for many years now); she has nothing to do but listen to news of violence and catastrophes on the radio, and chat with her friend Malvina, increasingly forgetful and lost in a world of her own... Fortunately, in the old woman's life there is Gabriela, a lump of hard-working youth from eastern countries who has survived multiple family disasters. And in Gabriela's life, besides a string of terrible relatives, there is her cousin Dorin, a would-be terrorist actively engaged in terrorising her, Gabriela, who refuses to marry him.

In loving dialogue with death but still full of life, the old woman is determined to have her say. Merciless old age and snake-like relatives deport her friend to an old people's home, and the decrepit Veleno no longer moves from his armchair, but when dark threats loom over Gabriela, the old woman does not think twice about taking matters into her own hands and wielding her gun.

A story about love, death, old age and the relationship between loneliness and differences, between a formidable old woman and her young foreign maid, in a world where it seems that life is no longer worth anything, but where the protagonist's lucid gaze brings back humanity and meaning, curiosity and fun.

Press review

'A great book, Giacobino's. It tells of the tenacity and strength of love passion, the patient and tolerant affection of true friendships, the refusal to judge without leaving the door of doubt open, the ability to shy away from the faint-heartedness of fashion. A tough book, but surprisingly cheerful even if it talks of old age and death." 
Margherita Oggero, TuttoLibri - La Stampa

"Hilarious plot, amusing, but never banal, in which are mixed an accurate investigation of human behaviour, the conflict between different cultures, the true value of love and the loneliness that often affects and torments people."

On the Novel
"Narrated with the light and irreverent pen of a great writer, it has two protagonists, besides the old woman and Gabriela: intelligence and love. The intelligence of a convincing and exciting plot, constructed with consummate skill and yet fresh and enjoyable. Love as the only answer to meaninglessness, to the ridiculousness of existence, whether old or young." 

Letterate Magazine

"An intense novel that moves, moves and makes you smile, a meaning-filled read that hides an unexpected ending." 

Cristina Benedetti

"Biting, ironic and overwhelming, with her subtle vocabulary and her usual incisive style, Margherita Giacobino signs a new story of great topicality, with bitter and moving tones, but also deeply amusing in its sarcastic point of view on life. Old age, death, diversity, loneliness and the mirage of integration in a society of confused identities are just some of the themes touched on by the author through the reflections and events involving the old woman and her ramshackle world, at first sight out of time, but in which time plays a fundamental role."

Mind Your Own Business

"A read that is hard to stop, a heartfelt and heartfelt take that adds sensibility to sensibility."

Upside Down Magazine

"The Ridiculous Age is a novel that feels like a long conversation between different generations in which, however, the problems are always there, somewhere between love and pain. [...] A novel that aims to underline how the meaning of growing up cuts across ages, ways of being and becoming." 

Cosebelle Magazine

"The marvellous thing is that in this old age told for what it is, without pretense, sweetening and political correctness, life, irony, impulses, affection overflow and overwhelm you... Margherita Giacobini restores to old age its diversity and dignity. How fresh!"

Chic After Fifty

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