Desiato, Luca 1941-

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DESIATO, Luca 1941-

PERSONAL: Born November 13, 1941, in Rome, Italy; son of Nicola and Pia Perri Desiato; married Marina Lampieri (a pediatrician), June 8, 1978; children: Virginia, Marco. Education: Attended University of Buenos Aires and University Jesuiti San Miguel. Religion: Roman Catholic.

ADDRESSES: Home—Rome, Italy. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Arnold Mondadori Editions, Via Mondadori, 1, 20090, Seagrate, Milan, Italy.

CAREER: Novelist and poet.

AWARDS, HONORS: Premio Basilicata, 1986, for Come il fuoco; Elba prize, 2002, for Dal giardino murato.


Belfagor arcidiavolo ovvero la nuova chiesa vista da satana, Massimo (Milan, Italy), 1969.

Il diario di Luca, Gribaudi (Turin, Italy), 1971.

Cosà pregano I giovani, Edizioni Paoline (Alba, Italy), 1973.

Mirella: diario di una studentessa, Gribaudi (Turin, Italy), 1973.

(Editor) Incomunicabilità e comunione, Paoline (Turin, Italy), 1974.

(Editor) Canti dell'impegno, dell'amore, della speranza, Gribaudi (Turin, Italy), 1974.

Il coraggio si chiama Thomas More: sotto il segno dell'acquario, Paoline (Alba, Italy), 1974.

Il sogno di Papa Asdrubale (novel; title means "Pope Asdrubale's Dream"), Marsilio (Padua, Italy), 1974.

(Editor) Dal dubbio alla fede: Pascal, Gribaudi (Turin, Italy), 1975.

Benito e il mostro (novel), Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1976.

La risposta: il problema della fede, Paoline (Alba, Italy), 1977.

Marco: diario di un timido, Gribaudi (Turin, Italy), 1978.

La marcia su roma delle amazzoni, Rusconi (Milan, Italy), 1979.

Il marchese del Grillo (novel), Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1981.

Estate romana (novel; title means "Roman Summer"), Gremese (Rome, Italy), 1982.

Galileo mio padre (historical novel), Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1983.

Come il fuoco, Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1986.

Dialoghi e silenzi (prose), Paoline (Turin, Italy), 1988.

Bocca de Leone (novel), Rizzoli (Milan, Italy), 1989.

Storie dell'eremo (short stories), Gribaudi (Turin, Italy), 1990.

Giulioverme e altri racconti, Paoline (Turin, Italy), 1990.

Sulle rive del mar nero (novel; title means "On the Shores of the Black Sea"), Rizzoli (Milan, Italy), 1992.

La notte dell'angelo (historical novel), Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1994.

Giuliano l'apostata (historical novel), Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 1997.

Tra la perduta gente (novel), San Paolo (Milan, Italy), 1999.

Dal giardino murato (novel), Messaggero (Padova, Italy), 2002.

C'ere une volte a Rome Trilussa (novel; title means "The Life of Trilusse, Great Rome's Poet"), Mondadori (Milan, Italy), 2004.

ADAPTATIONS: Il marchese del Grillo was adapted as a motion picture starring Alberto Sordi.

SIDELIGHTS: Before he became well known to Italian readers, Luca Desiato traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he studied Hispanic literature, philosophy, and theology. While there he met Jorge Luis Borges, a contemporary of Gabriel Garciá Márquez, and developed a great appreciation for the Spanish language. After returning to Rome, Desiato married and later adopted two Brazilian children. He also embarked on what would become a successful career as a novelist.

Desiato's first published work, Belfagor arcidiavolo ovvero la nuova chiesa vista de satana, was inspired by the profound crisis suffered by the Roman Catholic Church in the modern age. Desiato's first novel, Il sogno di Papa Asdrubale, also addresses this crisis, and challenges its protagonist, a future fictional pope, with regaining control of the Church. Benito e il mostro, published in 1976, is a novel set in fascist Italy. Desiato emerged as a notable novelist with his third novel, 1981's Il marchese del Grillo, a story set in eighteenth-century Rome.

Among Desiato's works of historical fiction is Galileo mio padre, which is based on the correspondence between Galileo Galilei and his daughter, Sister Maria Celeste Galilei. Dialoghi e silenzi is a collection of fragments that touch upon a variety of meaningful stages in Desiato's writing life. Come il fuoco, which won Italy's Premio Basilicata, is a futuristic love story set in 1990's Rome that echoes the myth of Orpheus, while La notte dell'angelo is a fictionalized biography of Italian sculptor and painter Michelangelo. Other recent novels include Dal giardino murato, which won the 2002 Elba prize.



Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 196: Italian Novelists since World War II, 1965–1995, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 1999.


Booklist, May 15, 1987, Sylvia S. Goldberg, review of Come il fuoco, p. 1415; December 1, 1994, Sylvia S. Goldberg, review of La notte dell'angelo, p. 658.


Elba Today Online, (June 9, 2005), "Luca Desiato Gains the Elba Prize."

Premio Letterario Basilicata Web site, (July 11, 2002), "Luca Desiato."

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