Gianrico Carofiglio
Francesco Carofiglio
La casa nel bosco (The House in the Woods)
A novel, Rizzoli, March 2014, 190 pages

Premio Riviera delle Palme

“Nabokov’s poetic manifesto ‘Detail is always welcome’ is very close to the Carofiglio’s choice to prefer shades and particulars. And the past emerges also in scents and flavours.”
Corriere della Sera

“Always before leaving, there was a sense of anticipation, like a slight fever of the soul. The things that would happened that season would change our lives forever. We were certain, every time.”

All this happened, more or less.
This is the first line of a great novel. Too bad it was already written by Kurt Vonnegut, because it would have been the ideal opening for this story. Or rather, for these stories. The two protagonists – and authors – are brothers, but they don’t see each other much, they can hardly even stand each other. Different lives, different personalities, and maybe even some distant resentments left brooding under the ash for too much time.
Now though, they have to stay together, at least for a few hours. They have to give a last look at the vacation house of their childhood – the house in the woods, in the Mercadante forest, located in the Alta Murgia National Park, a protected area in Puglia.
“We used to go to the Mercadante forest every summer, from July to September. The forest was born out of nothing in 1928, for hydrological reasons: trees were planted to protect Bari from recurring floods. Pines, cypresses and a variety of oaks took hold immediately, transforming the poor and inhospitable land in an astonishing way. When we started spending our vacations there, it seemed that the lush vegetation had always existed and that it guarded millennial secrets. Its official name was the Foresta Demaniale of Mercadante. We, however, simply referred to it as The Woods. Thinking about it now, I believe that word seemed more congenial, able to express our familiarity, the idea that we all felt at home there.”
Now that the two brothers have become adults, the house is being sold and within a few days it will be transferred to the new owner. Going to collect the last few objects seems like just a trivial, though somewhat sad task, but it becomes an unexpected opportunity for a voyage through memory, for a reconciliation, for a funny and moving inventory of places, odors, stories and, above all, flavors.
In a sequence of amazing, funny and moving dialogues, Gianrico and Francesco Carofiglio (rigorously laid out in order of seniority) ride the subtle crest that divides affection and rivalry, fun and melancholy, nostalgia and disenchantment.
A memoir written by two people who recount lost friendship, stolen loves, old comic strips and cheesecakes. A recipe book, not just metaphorical, of childhood, adolescence and an adulthood still able to hold surprises.
In the background, there is the enchantment of Puglia along with its colors and scents (in addition to some typical recipes that celebrate the traditions and culinary art of that splendid region in the south of Italy).

Gianrico Carofiglio

Gianrico Carofiglio was born in Bari and has worked for many years as a prosecutor specializing in organized crime. He was appointed advisor of the anti-Mafia committee in the Italian Parliament in 2007 and served as a senator from 2008 to 2013. He is the author of the novels featuring the character of the defense lawyer Guido Guerrieri: Testimone inconsapevole (Involuntary Witness, 2002), Ad occhi chiusi (A Walk in the Dark, 2003, Best International Noir of the year 2007 in Germany), Ragionevoli dubbi (Reasonable Doubts, 2006), Le perfezioni provvisorie (Temporary Perfections, 2010, Premio Selezione Campiello), La regola dell’equilibrio (A Fine Line, 2014), La misura del tempo (The Measure of Time, 2019, Premio Strega 2020 finalist). Officer of the Carabinieri Pietro Fenoglio is the protagonist of another series of novels: Una mutevole verità (A Shifting Truth, 2014, Premio Scerbanenco), L’estate fredda (The Cold Summer, 2016), La versione di Fenoglio (Fenoglio’s Version, 2019).
Among his fiction and non fiction works: Il passato è una terra straniera (The Past is a Foreign Land, 2004, Premio Bancarella 2005), adapted into an internationally awarded film, Né qui né altrove (Neither Here Nor Elsewhere. A Night in Bari, 2009), Non esiste saggezza (There is No Wisdom, 2010, 2020), La manomissione delle parole (Manumitting Words, 2010), Il silenzio dell’onda (The Silence of the Wave, 2011, finalist for Premio Strega 2012), Il bordo vertiginoso delle cose (The Vertiginous Edge of Things, 2013), La casa nel bosco (The House in the Woods, 2014), written with his brother Francesco, Con parole precise (With exact words, 2015), Passeggeri notturni (Night Passengers, 2016), Le tre del mattino (Three O’Clock in the Morning, 2017), and the pamphlet Con i piedi nel fango (Feet in the Mud, 2018). Many titles are also audiobooks, read by the author. In 2020 was released L’avvocato Guerrieri, Gianrico Carofiglio’s first audio-series. Gianrico Carofiglio’s multi-award winner and best selling books are translated into 27 languages worldwide.

Francesco Carofiglio

Francesco Carofiglio

Francesco Carofiglio was born in Bari. Architect, filmmaker and illustrator, for many years he worked in theatre, both as an actor and an author. He also writes subjects and screenplays for cinema and television. He is the author of With or Without you (2005), Cacciatori nelle tenebre (2007), a graphic novel written with his brother Gianrico, L’estate del cane nero (2008), Ritorno nella valle degli angeli (2009), Radiopirata (2011), Wok (2013), La casa nel bosco (2014, co-authored with his brother Gianrico), Voglio vivere una volta sola (2014), Una specie di felicità (2016, Premio Maratea 2016), Il maestro (2017), Jonas e il mondo nero (2018) and L’estate dell’incanto (2019).

 

“Nabokov’s poetic manifesto ‘Detail is always welcome’ is very close to the Carofiglio’s choice to prefer shades and particulars. And the past emerges also in scents and flavours.”
Corriere della Sera

Foreign publishers of Gianrico Carofiglio’s works
Albania: Fjala
Argentina: El Ateneo
Australia and New Zealand: Text Publishing
Austria: Folio Verlag
Bosnia: Buybook
Brazil: Editora Jaboticaba
Czech Republic: Host
Denmark: HR Ferdinand
Ethiopia: Soomaalyia
Finland: Kustannus Moreeni
France: Payot e Rivages, Seuil, Slatkine
Germany: Goldmann, Folio Verlag, Scoventa
Greece: Alexandria, Modern Times
Israel: Achuzat Bayit Books
Japan: Bungei ShunJu
Kenya: Soomaalyia
Lithuania: Homo liber
Mexico: Urano
The Netherlands: Prometheus
Poland: W.A.B. Foksal
Portugal: Porto Editora
Romania: Leda
Russia: Inostranka
Serbia: Clio Publishing
Somalia: Soomaalyia
Spain (Castilian): Urano, La Esfera de los Libros, Anagrama
Spain (Catalan): Edicions 62
Sweden: Schibsted, Forum
Switzerland (French): Slatkine
Tanzania: Soomaalyia
Turkey: Neden Kitap
Uganda: Soomaalyia
UK: Bitter Lemon Press, Old Street Publishing
US: Thomas Dunne, Rizzoli International
Vietnam: Nhã Nam

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