Category Italian

Reading Elena Ferrante in Bulgaria(n)

By Stiliana Milkova Last year I read Elena Ferrante’s new novel The Lying Life of Adults (La vita bugiarda degli adulti) in Bulgarian, in Ivo Yonkov’s translation from Italian. It was September 2020, it had just been released by Ferrante’s Bulgarian publisher, Colibri, and I was in Bulgaria myself. I went to Helikon, the largest […]

Images of Imagination: Saskia Ziolkowski Reviews Antonio Tabucchi’s “Stories with Pictures” and Interviews Translator Elizabeth Harris

Stories with Pictures draws attention to the communal nature of artistic endeavors, made even more collaborative with the additional presence of the translator.

Mapping Absence: Andrea Bajani’s “If You Kept a Record of Sins,” translated from Italian by Elizabeth Harris

By Brian Robert Moore On the first page of Esther Kinsky’s Grove, a book translated by Caroline Schmidt which explores bereavement against the backdrop of a trip through Italy, the narrator details a Romanian mourning ritual: “In Romanian churches believers light candles in two separate places. It might be two niches in the wall, two […]

Answering the Call: Jamie Richards interviews Anne Milano Appel

Anne Milano Appel is the award-winning translator of over three dozen books and 2021 marks her twenty-fifth year translating Italian literature. Her translations include works by Antonio Scurati, Paolo Maurensig, Claudio Magris, Primo Levi, Luce D’Eramo, Goliarda Sapienza, Paolo Giordano, Andrea Canobbio, Roberto Saviano, and numerous others in periodicals such as Chicago Review, Asymptote, Guernica, […]

“La Signora Bovary” — Translator’s Note by Natalia Ginzburg

By Natalia Ginzburg Translated by Minna Zallman Proctor There are people who think that writers make the best translators. I don’t agree. Sometimes writers produce excellent translations, but not always. Translating a beloved text can be a nourishing, invigorating, and vital practice for a writer. As long as the writer thinks of it as a […]

Dear Natalia: How I translated “Caro Michele”

By Minna Zallman Proctor In 1963, Natalia Ginzburg’s seminal, miraculous, autobiographical novel, Lessico famigliare (Family Lexicon), came out in Italy and was an instant hit—selling over 86,000 copies that first year and going into five reprints. Then ten years passed before Caro Michele (Happiness, As Such). The decade-long gap between novels is not the result […]

On Humor, Eccentricity, and Sound in “Family Lexicon”: A Conversation with Ginzburg Translator Jenny McPhee

Jenny McPhee is an accomplished translator of Italian literature––she has translated works by Anna Banti, Anna Maria Ortese, Fausta Cialente, Natalia Ginzburg, Curzio Malaparte, and Primo Levi, among others. She received a Guggenheim fellowship in 2020. In this interview, which is part of the special issue “Reading Natalia Ginzburg,” we focus on her translation of Ginzburg’s 1963 novel Family Lexicon (Lessico […]

Translating Natalia Ginzburg’s “Voice That Says ‘I’” in the Twenty-First Century

By Eric Gudas For decades, no matter how many of my books sit boxed up in storage, I’ve always had a tattered photocopy of the chapter entitled “The End of the Affair,” from Natalia Ginzburg’s novel Voices in the Evening (1961) in the translation by D.M. Low first published in 1963 by Hogarth Press. This […]

The Light of Turin: Natalia Ginzburg’s Cityscape

By Roberto Carretta Translated by Stiliana Milkova Via Morgari is located in Turin’s San Salvario neighborhood—a little Le Marais where the encounter and superimposition of new identities is the norm. San Salvario stretches from the nineteenth-century buildings, now apartment blocks flanking the Porta Nuova railway station, to the edge of the suburbs on the east. […]

Italo Calvino, “Natalia Ginzburg or the Possibilities of the Bourgeois Novel”

By Italo Calvino Translated from Italian by Stiliana Milkova and Eric Gudas Translators’ Introduction Natalia Ginzburg and Italo Calvino met in Turin in 1946, at the publishing house Einaudi where she was working as an editor and he would soon join the editorial staff. They became close friends and admired each other’s writing. In 1961, […]

Queering Family Roles and Gender Norms in Natalia Ginzburg’s “Valentino”

By Enrica Maria Ferrara Traditionally, Natalia Ginzburg was seen as a writer who did not take sides with the feminist movement, refused to endorse the cause of women as victims and men as perpetrators, thus conveying a “disinterested view of sexual politics that has inevitably alienated both male chauvinists and militant feminists” (Bullock 1-2). While […]

Natalia Ginzburg’s Speech Acts: The Female Voice as a Form of Resistance

By Serena Todesco “And so memories of our own past constantly crop up in the things we write, our own voice constantly echoes there and we are unable to silence it” Natalia Ginzburg, “My Vocation,” The Little Virtues Whenever I listen to Natalia Ginzburg’s voice, it seems that the fleshly dimension of her words is […]

Forging the Female Voice out of the Ruins of History: Reading Natalia Ginzburg

By Katrin Wehling-Giorgi In recent years, partly abetted by the phenomenal global and transmedial success of Elena Ferrante’s works, Natalia Ginzburg’s novels and short stories have undergone a major revival and rediscovery, leading to a number of (re-)translations and increasing attention by a new transnational readership.[1] As a translator herself (of Proust, Vercors, Flaubert, among […]

On Female Genius: A Conversation with Italian Writer and Ginzburg Biographer Sandra Petrignani

Translators’ Introduction Sandra Petrignani is an acclaimed Italian writer and journalist, the author of many novels, collections of short stories, and volumes of non-fiction, including a biography of Marguerite Duras and a biography of Natalia Ginzburg, La corsara. Ritratto di Natalia Ginzburg (Neri Pozza, 2018). In her biography of Natalia Ginzburg, Sandra Petrignani draws on her […]

“History’s Inexorable Demands”: An Excerpt from Sandra Petrignani’s “La corsara”

As part of our special issue “Reading Natalia Ginzburg,” we are featuring an excerpt from the English translation of Sandra Petrignani’s biography of Natalia Ginzburg, La corsara. Ritratto di Natalia Ginzburg (Neri Pozza 2019). The passages excerpted here are from chapter six, “History’s Inexorable Demands,” and are published with Sandra Petrignani’s permission and courtesy of […]