Margaret Mazzantini, Mare al mattino
Margaret Mazzantini
Mare al mattino (Morning Sea)
A novel, Einaudi 2011, 128 pages

Premio Pavese, Premio Matteotti

“Mazzantini explores displacement and the effect of political chaos on individual lives in this extremely brief but intense story of Libyans seeking refuge in Italy and Italians seeking their lost past in Libya… A tragedy for our time.”
Kirkus Review

“Mazzantini’s lyrical novel puts a human face on migration and displacement.”

Farid is a Libyan child who lives in the desert and has no best friend but a gazelle. Vito is a Sicilian boy who grew up listening to stories told by his mother and grandmother about how Gaddafi threw them out of Tripoli in the Seventies.

When Farid’s beautiful young mother Jamila tries to escape Libya by boat, it is the first time that Farid will see the sea. This is the same sea into which Vito stares from a beach on the opposite side—Farid and Jamila’s destination. Unfortunately, the Mediterranean’s wide blue surface does not fulfil its promise of a new life for the two young refugees. Instead, it becomes their prison.
A tale of moving intensity, Morning Sea is about the universally poignant subject of human migration. It is about the fate of those exiled from their houses, relatives and roots; it is about the violence of nature and war; and it is about the strength of women compelled by injustice to defend their children’s futures. With terse and astute language, Mazzantini captures perfectly the dark, uncertain quality of our present days, when as ever we must commit ourselves to the right of all humans to live with dignity and respect—and the right of all children to be happy.


Margaret Mazzantini

Margaret Mazzantini - © Alessandro Moggi

Margaret Mazzantini was born in Dublin and lives in Rome with her husband and four children. She is the author of Il catino di zinco (1994), Manola (1999), Non ti muovere (2001, Premio Strega 2002, Premio Grinzane-Cavour, European Zepter Prize as best european book), Zorro (2002), Venuto al mondo (2008, Premio Campiello 2009), Nessuno si salva da solo (2011), Mare al mattino (2011, Premio Pavese, Premio Matteotti) and Splendore (2013). Many of her books have been successfully made into films by her husband, the actor and director Sergio Castellitto: Non ti muovere starring Penélope Cruz in 2004, Venuto al mondo with Penélope Cruz and Emile Hirsch in 2012, Nessuno si salva da solo with Riccardo Scamarcio and Jasmine Trinca in 2015. Mazzantini is author of the screenplay of Castellitto’s latest movie Fortunata (2017) with Jasmine Trinca who has been awarded for her performance as Best Actress, in the section “Un certain regard”, at the Cannes Film Festival.




“Mazzantini explores displacement and the effect of political chaos on individual lives in this extremely brief but intense story of Libyans seeking refuge in Italy and Italians seeking their lost past in Libya… A tragedy for our time.”
Kirkus Review

“Mazzantini’s lyrical novel puts a human face on migration and displacement.”

“This intense work of fiction focuses on the human spirit in times of ultimate uncertainty while navigating the rough waters of exile, political turmoil and two families who are struggling to find what is “home.” By using the sea as a tool to distance people yet bring them together, Mazzantini reveals how the Italian and Libyan states in chaos influence family life and survival.”
World Literature Today

“Margaret Mazzantini sows, with a steady hand, the seed of hope deep within the darkest and most desperate acts of humankind.”
La Stampa

“A small book about a great catastrophe, a document of our time, full of poetry.”

 “As always, Mazzantini finds the words to express the pain and suffering of the defeated, those forgotten at the margins of History.”
Le Monde des Livres

“Broken destinies, textures, colours and smells, a universe of sensations criss-crossed by powerful, often heart-breaking, images.”
Le Points

“In the shocking effect of Mazzantini’s writing there is something of Le Clézio’s Desert, David Grossman or Pasolini. To these names, the author adds those great tragedian women of the last century, Duras, Morante, Ingeborg Bachmann… But the crystalline beauty of Morning Sea is a peculiar trait of Margaret Mazzantini.”
Livres Hebdo

“Visions of highly symbolic impact… Unusual and unforgettable images.”
Corriere della Sera (full review)

“A story about the interwoven destiny of Italy and Libya… just while Gaddafi is falling.”
la Repubblica (full review)

“One of Mazzantini’s best books. A turning point.”
Il Messaggero (full review)

“Witty language… wide-open to the richness of metaphore, and never vain.”
Tuttolibri (full review)

Foreign rights sold in
Arabic language world rights: Al Arabi
Bulgaria: Colibri
France: Robert Laffont
Germany: DuMont
The Netherlands: Wereldbibliotheek, Rainbow
Israel: Kinneret Zmora-Bitan Dvir
Russia: Azbooka
Serbia: Plato
Spain and Latin America: Alfaguara
Sweden: Lindelöws
UK and US: OneWorld
Turkey: Doğan Kitap

Italian and international editions

Foreign publishers of Margaret Mazzantini’s works

Albania: Ombra
Bosnia: Buybook
Brazil: Companhia das Letras
Bulgaria: Colibri
China: Lijang Pub
Croatia: Znanje, Algoritam
Czech Republic: Euromedia
Denmark: Samleren
Finland: WSOY
France: Robert Laffont, 10/18
Germany: Frankfurter Verlagsanstalt, btb, DuMont
Greece: Oceanida
Hungary: Tericum, Cartaphilus
Israel: Kinneret 
Zmora-Bitan Dvir
Japan: Soshisha
Latvia: Apgads Atena
Lithuania: Alma Littera
Macedonia: Terra Magica
Mexico: Grijalbo, Alfaguara
The Netherlands: Wereldbibliotheek
Norway: Gyldendal
Poland: Muza, Sonia Draga
Portugal: Dom Quixote, Bertrand
Romania: Polirom
Russia: Azbooka
Serbia: Plato, Beobook
Slovenia: Mladinska Knjiga Zalozba
South Korea: Munhakdongne
Spain and Latin America (Castillan): Salamandra, Quinteto, Lumen, DeBolsillo, Alfaguara
Spain (Catalan): La Magrana, Rosa dels Vents
Sweden: Bonniers, Lindelöws
Taiwan: Crown
Thailand: Gamme Magie
Turkey: CAN Yayinlari, Doğan Kitap
UK: Chatto & Windus, OneWorld
US: Nan A. Talese, Anchor Books, Doubleday, Viking Penguin

· · · · · ·

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.