Andrea Ricolfi
L'ultimo marinaio (The Last Sailor)
Garzanti, a novel, August 2020, 156 pages

“Let’s hope he’ll write more.” Lidia Ravera, Tuttolibri

Matias lives on the island of Noss, a desert rock in the Norwegian sea. That very ocean, which took his father away when he was just a child, means everything to him. His only inheritance is the Marlin, a hand-built wooden sailing boat. This is the origin of his dream: to create a sailing school, to shape sailors as they used to be. 
This is how Matias meets Tomas, a mysterious sailor who came to Noss to share with the students the ocean’s hard lesson: the sea is dangerous and no matter how many storms you have faced, the next one will still scare you to death. It is a cruel law, though never as cruel as the law of men.
Tomas is a silent man, as hard to decipher as the words of a distant song that is fading away. But day after day Matias discovers in him a pure soul, capable of the most vigorous strength, as well as of the most unexpected tenderness. And while the dance of the Northern lights fills up the darkness of the polar sky, Tomas becomes not only a teacher, but a friend, too. Because being part of a crew means never having to face the winds alone.

Andrea Ricolfi is a pure mathematician working as a postdoc fellow at SISSA, Trieste. In his astonishing debut novel he takes the readers to Norway among colorful houses, winds and storms. He takes us to the deck of a ship where true courage, commitment and friendship are learned. He takes us to a world where being a sailor means you’ll remain a sailor for the rest of your life.
L’ultimo marinaio tells the story of a hidden world where the rarefied beauty of the nordic landscapes, as well as the actions of a handful of unordinary men, do not feel the urge to emerge or be noticed.
Noss doesn’t exist. But it is a place for those who think beauty is the simplest of all things, to be found in the shape of an iceberg, or the color of the waves when a storm subsides.
This is a book for those who would be happy just sitting on a rock by the sea and watching the snow fall on the fjord and on the surrounding mountains. It’s a book for those who, bravely enough today, choose nature over human beings, but still can’t help hoping in a better, more gracious humankind.

Andrea Ricolfi

Andrea Ricolfi, born in Torino, studied Mathematics in Torino, Padova and Bordeaux. After obtaining his PhD at the University of Stavanger, Norway, he was a researcher at the Max-Planck Institut für Mathematik in Bonn. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow at SISSA (Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati), Trieste. L’ultimo marinaio (2020) is his debut novel.




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