Tag Archives: Natalia Ginzburg
A new translation of “The Road to the City” (New Directions, 2023) extends the book’s afterlife and illuminates Ginzburg’s distinctive style. The translator, Gini Alhadeff, gives in to Ginzburg’s spare and concise narration without ever losing sight of the novella’s subtle meaning making.
Gini Alhadeff is a prize-winning translator, curator, and author, including of fiction, with the novel “Diary of a Djinn,” and of non-fiction, with a multitude of articles and her memoir “The Sun at Midday: Tales of a Mediterranean Family.” She grew up in Egypt, Sudan, Italy, and Japan. She studied fine art and photography at Harrow in England and at Pratt Institute in New York. She recently translated Natalia Ginzburg’s “The Road to the City” for the distinctive series, Storybook ND, that she curates for New Directions. This interview was conducted over zoom on October 6th, 2023 with Gini Alhadeff in New York City and Saskia Ziolkowski in Durham, NC.
Turin’s Skies, Women’s Bodies, and Foreign Lands: Marina Jarre’s “Distant Fathers,” Translated from Italian by Ann Goldstein
The centrality of women’s experiences in current Italian fiction has drawn attention to previously neglected works. Although Jarre’s frankness about the body, from childhood to older age, is not shocking after Ferrante, it marked a new contribution to Italian literature in her time.
nstead of by century or by literary movement, writers of fiction might be classified by times of day or slants of light. Tolstoy would fall under the clarity of high noon, Dostoievski the hysteria of three a.m. Natalia Ginzburg’s pervasive wit and minute details would suggest a morning sensibility, while her repetitions and obsessiveness feel nocturnal. In the end, though, she is crepuscular, like Chekhov.
We are stuck in a loop of “reintroducing Natalia Ginzburg.” The current iteration of that loop depends on publishers’ marketing of Ginzburg as a precursor to Elena Ferrante. However, this genealogy arises out of a necessity to sell books; Ginzburg’s relation to her peers—Cesar Pavese, Elsa Morante, Italo Calvino—has far more relevance than the specter of her impact on Ferrante.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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. […]
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, […]
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 […]
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 […]
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. As a translator herself (of Proust, Vercors, Flaubert, among […]
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 […]