Melania G. Mazzucco
Vita
A novel, Rizzoli 2003, Einaudi 2014, 398 pages

Premio Strega 2003
Globe & Mail
 Book of the Year
New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice
Publishers Weekly Top Ten Books of the Year
International Prize Arcebispo Juan de San Clemente – Best Foreign Novel

Vita is an extraordinary novel. It makes you stop, think and wonder. And that is exactly what great literature should do.”
Publishers Weekly

“Commanding and moving… Full of pungent fictional details.”
The New Yorker

In April 1903, Diamante, age twelve, and Vita, age nine, are sent by their poor families in southern Italy to make a life for themselves in America. Theirs is an unforgettable love story, a riveting tale of immigrant survival and hope that takes them from the crime-ridden tenements of Little Italy to the brutal rail yards of the Midwest, on paths that cross with the Black Hand, Caruso, and Chaplin. It is a story that reaches across decades, to the son of Vita, who would travel as far as Italy to find his roots and the man who could have been his father.
In Vita, Melania G. Mazzucco also tells her own story of how she found Diamante and Vita in old photographs, documents, ship manifests, and the fading memories of her relatives, and from these fragments of the past imagined this gripping epic fiction of her family’s history.

Melania G. Mazzucco

Melania G. Mazzucco was born and lives in Rome. She is the author of Il bacio della Medusa (1996), La camera di Baltus (1998), Lei così amata (2000, Premio Napoli), about the writer Annemarie Schwarzenbach, Vita (2003, Premio Strega), Un giorno perfetto (2005), on which was based the movie with the same title by Ferzan Ozpetek, and two works about the Italian Renaissance painter Tintoretto: the novel La lunga attesa dell’angelo (2008, Premio Bagutta) and the essay Jacomo Tintoretto e i suoi figli (2009, Premio Comisso). In 2011 she received the Premio letterario Viareggio-Tobino as Author of the Year. Then, she wrote Limbo (2012, Premio Elsa Morante, Premio Rhegium Julii, Premio Matteotti, Premio Bottari Lattes Grinzane), Il bassotto e la Regina (2012, Premio Frignano Ragazzi 2013), Sei come sei (2013), Il museo del mondo (2014), in which she narrates 54 works of art, Io sono con te (2016, Rai Radio 3 Fahrenheit‘s Book of the Year), L’architettrice (2019, Premio Alassio, Premio Capalbio). In 2020 she won the Premio alla Carriera John Fante. She created and wrote the docu-film Tintoretto. A Rebel in Venice, a 2019 Sky Arts original production distributed in cinemas all over the world. She wrote for the theatre, the cinema and the radio and is a contributor to la Repubblica. Her books have been translated in 27 languages.

 

 

Vita is an extraordinary novel. It makes you stop, think and wonder. And that is exactly what great literature should do.”
Publishers Weekly

“Melania Mazzucco is like a hurricane dragging us into other ages and other dimensions with an incredible and total command of language.”
L’Express

“Commanding and moving… Full of pungent fictional details.”
The New Yorker

“Mazzucco comes across as a supple stylist with a strong sensory gift. Moreover, her narrative has an engaged intensity. Tracking these lives, the traces of their passage, is clearly a mission, not just a search for interesting subject matter.”
The New York Times

“A beautiful and moving saga, a lyrical epic, profoundly existential, full of illusion, hope, and heartache.”
Il Sole 24 Ore

Foreign rights sold in
Albania: Albas
Canada: HarperCollins
Denmark: Forlaget Palomar
Finland: Avain
France: Flammarion, J’ai lu, Editions du Club
Georgia: Sulakauri
Germany: Knaus
Hungary: Európa
Israel: Schocken
Korea: Random House Corea
Romania: Polirom
Spain: Anagrama
Sweden: Norsteds, Contempo
The Netherlands and Belgium: Mouria
Turkey: Doğan Kitap
US and UK: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Picador

Italian and international editions

Foreign publishers of Melania G. Mazzucco’s works
Albania: Albas
Bulgaria: Uniscorp, Jelenkor
Canada: HarperCollins, Harper Perennial
China: Horizon
Croatia: Oceanmore
Denmark: Tellerup, Turbine
Finland: Avain
France: Flammarion, J’ai lu, Editions du Club
Germany, Austria and Switzerland: Piper, Knaus, btb, Hoffmann und Campe
Georgia: Sulakauri
Greece: Diigisi, Modern Times
Hungary: Európa Könyvkiadó
Israel: Schocken, Kinneret Zmora-Bitan Dvir
Japan: Michitani
Korea: Random House Corea
The Netherlands and Belgium: Mouria, Atlas-Contact
Norway: Cappelen
Poland: Wab-Foksal
Romania: Polirom
Russia: Ast
Serbia: Mono j Manjana, Sezam Book
Spain and South America: Seix Barral, Planeta, Anagrama
Sweden: Norsteds, Contempo
Turkey: Yapi Kredi Culture and Arts, Doğan Kitap
UK: Pushkin
US and UK: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Picador, Thornedike Press

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