Andrea Molesini
La solitudine dell’assassino (The Loneliness of the Murderer)
A novel, Rizzoli, September 2016, 368 pages

The new novel by the author of Not All Bastards Are from Vienna, winner of the 2011 Campiello Prize

“It’s like a chess game of fine psychological insight.”
Corriere della Sera

“A rocky writer.”
La Stampa

“I have lived as a free man, and freedom devastated me.”

Northern Italy, Trieste. In 1968, a mysterious sixty-year-old librarian, Carlo Malaguti, kills a stranger. There is no apparent connection between the killer and his victim. The state-appointed attorney, an intriguing woman with a hidden past, senses that the killer might be the victim of a conspiracy. But at the trial Malaguti refuses to defend himself and gets a life sentence.

Twenty-one years later, Luca Rainer, an esteemed translator of Shakespeare and Rilke, unhappy in his fickle love affairs and lost in a fruitless search for himself, meets the murderer who is about to be released from prison for good conduct and old age. Rainer is the son of the lawyer who defended Malaguti, an absent mother, who was in and out of psychiatric institutes.

The two men become close friends, which forces Rainer to explore the old man’s past. Malaguti is still imperious despite his years and just as bold in his thoughts. The past hides a terrible secret, which has to do with the death of a Jewish girl wanted by the SS, with whom Malaguti was desperately in love in the spring of 1944. Was Malaguti the one who betrayed her? Yes, but under torture, making it impossible to determine his guilt. Rainer will agree to tell his friend’s story, and by “translating” it he will become the narrator who discovers himself as a citizen of the world’s labyrinth.

The Loneliness of the Murderer is a literary novel with the rhythm of a thriller. The details slowly reveal the whirlpool of darkness that envelops the soul of the librarian evoking the tragedy of the Shoah (along with some of its historic antecedents), and with the dramatic power of Greek theater it binds together the fate of a myriad of characters.

The book is an ode to life and its inescapable beauty and energy, mixing love and loyalty, cowardice and betrayal, fear, courage, escape and passion.

Andrea Molesini

Andrea Molesini - © Claudio Nostri

Andrea Molesini was born and lives in Venice. He teaches Comparative Literature at Padua University. He is a poet, a translator, an author of children’s stories translated into many languages, and a sailor. He won the Premio Andersen Career Award in 1999, the Premio Monselice for literary translation in 2008 and in 2011 the Premio Campiello for Non tutti i bastardi sono di Vienna (2010). He is the author of children’s books, essays and successful novels: La primavera del lupo (2013), Presagio (2014), La solitudine dell’assassino (2016), Dove un’ombra sconsolata mi cerca (2019), Il rogo della Repubblica (2021).




“It’s like a chess game of fine psychological insight.”
Corriere della Sera

“A rocky writer.”
La Stampa

“A masterly novel about the contradictions of justice.”
Corriere del Veneto

Praise for Not All Bastards Are from Vienna:
“Mr. Molesini has the true novelist’s ability to bring scenes and individuals immediately before our eyes, so vividly that they take possession of our imagination.”
The Wall Street Journal

Not All Bastards Are From Vienna is wonderfully alive — often terribly so — as a wartime adventure and story of youth arriving at manhood.”
The New York Times

“With formidable talent, Molesini gradually reveals a universe of love and hate, patriotism and everyday heroism.”
Le Monde

“Molesini gives all his grace to the story… [with] great expressive power.”
El Pais

Foreign publishers of Andrea Molesini’s works
Denmark: Gyldendal
France: Calmann-Lévy, Le Livre de Poche
Germany: Piper
Hungary: Scolar
The Netherlands: Wereldbibliotheek
Norway: Pax Forlag
Slovenia: Mladinska
Spain: Lumen
UK: Atlantic Books
US: Grove Atlantic

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