Paola Mastrocola
Leone
A novel, Einaudi, October 2018, 228 pages

“Paola Mastrocola is one of the few Italian writers whose grain of the voice we an still recognize from the first page.” Il Sole 24 Ore

“In just a few pages, with the complicit objectivity of a great writers, Paola Mastrocola depicts two simple lives, she enters two souls, she gives a voice to two different points of view: a mother and a child.” La Stampa

The spectacle of the world in the hands of a child.

Leone is six years old and every now and then, for no a reason, he begins to pray in the most unexpected places.
Does he do this because he is afraid, because he desires, because he feels alone?
These are the questions his mother, who is not a believer, asks herself as she lives her frantic life as a separated woman whose life is consumed by work and daily toil.
Leo continues to pray, and the things he asks for come true to some extent.
Would they have come true anyway? And how important is the secret thread that binds a grandmother and a grandchild?
The only certainty is that the world around them is changing, and no one will be as they were.
Paola Mastrocola has written a novel about the disruptive power of believing in something. And we as readers are called to ask ourselves what this naive and secular prayer might be, this spontaneous and natural gesture that concerns us all, beyond any faith.
What is the essence of the magic that, at times, seems to surround our lives.

A mother and her son live in neighborhood called the Bussolo. It could be anywhere in any contemporary city. She, Katia, is a single thirty-six-year-old woman, absorbed by her work, separated from her husband, with little money and little time, always running, hanging from nebulous dreams that she does not dare to dream to the end. He, Leone, is a shy lonely, six-year-old boy, thin as a reed. One day, in the midst of all the people and cars passing by, under the blinking lights of the Christmas trees, he starts to pray. And his mother discovers, with amazement and shame, that he does it often, almost everywhere. He goes off on his own, gets down on his knees, and prays. On the street, at the cinema, in the bathroom. He prays when worried, when he misses his grandmother and the games he played with her. Or when he wishes for a kiss. Or when he wants to help someone. Word circulates quickly. Leone has become “the child who prays,” the scandal of the school, of the entire neighborhood. Many deride him, but many, too, begin to confess their wishes. Just like life, Leone either delivers on requests or disappoints, makes dreams come true or leaves them unexplained. Paola Mastrocola has written a story at once realistic and magical, in which everyone changes without knowing why. An essential and profound novel, in which every line can surprise at both the human and literary level – until a downpour, a smaller and gentler analogy of the universal flood, one which does not destroy anything but renews and softens the color of things.

Paola Mastrocola

Paola Mastrocola - © Basso Cannarsa

Paola Mastrocola was born and lives in Turin. She has a very special voice among Italian contemporary writers and bestseller authors. She is the author of La gallina volante (2000, Premio Calvino), Palline di pane (2001), Una barca nel bosco (Premio Campiello 2004), La scuola raccontata al mio cane (2004), Che animale sei? (2007), Più lontana della luna (2007), La felicità del galleggiante (2010), Togliamo il disturbo. Saggio sulla libertà di non studiare (2011), Non so niente di te (2013), L’esercito delle cose inutili (2015), La passione ribelle (2015), Lanno che non caddero le foglie (2016), L’amore prima di noi (2016), Leone (2018), Diario di una talpa (2020), La saggezza del lupo (2020), Se tu fossi vero (2021), Il danno scolastico (con Luca Ricolfi, 2021). Her books have been translated in France, Germany, Spain and Latin America, Portugal, Turkey and Japan.

“Paola Mastrocola is one of the few Italian writers whose grain of the voice we an still recognize from the first page.” Il Sole 24 Ore

“In just a few pages, with the complicit objectivity of a great writers, Paola Mastrocola depicts two simple lives, she enters two souls, she gives a voice to two different points of view: a mother and a child.” La Stampa

· · · · · ·

Per una migliore esperienza di navigazione il nostro sito fa uso di cookies. Cliccando su “Accetta”, scorrendo la pagina o continuando la navigazione accetti la nostra cookies policy maggiori informazioni

Questo sito utilizza i cookie per fornire la migliore esperienza di navigazione possibile. Continuando a utilizzare questo sito senza modificare le impostazioni dei cookie o cliccando su "Accetta" permetti il loro utilizzo.

Chiudi