Piersanti, Claudio 1954-
PIERSANTI, Claudio 1954-
Born 1954, in Canzano, Abruzzo, Italy.
Agent—c/o Author Mail, Marlboro/Northwestern University Press, 625 Colfax St., Evanston, IL 60208-4210.
Novelist and scriptwriter.
Viareggio-Rapaci prize and Vittorini-Siracusa prize, both for Luisa and the Silence.
Casa di nessuno: romanzo, Feltrinelli (Milan, Italy), 1981.
Charles, Lavoro Editoriale (Ancona, Italy), 1986.
L'amore degli adulti (short stories), Feltrinelli (Milan, Italy), 1989.
Gli sguardi cattivi della gente, Feltrinelli (Milan, Italy), 1992.
Cinghiali, Castelvecchi, 1994.
(With others) Vesna va veloce (screenplay), Cecchi Gori, 1996.
Luisa e il silenzio, Feltrinelli (Milan, Italy), 1997, translation by George Hochfield published as Luisa and the Silence, Marlboro Press/Northwestern University Press (Evanston, IL), 2002.
(With Lorenzo Mattotti) Stigmate, Einaudi (Turin, Italy), 1999.
L'appeso, Feltrinelli (Milan, Italy), 2000.
Comanó il padre, PeQuod (Ancona, Italy), 2003.
Piersanti's works have been translated into French and Spanish.
Italian writer Claudio Piersanti had his first book translated into English in 2002 as Luisa and the Silence. The novel, first published in Italy in 1997 as Luisa e il silenzio, earned its author critical acclaim as well as the Viareggio-Rapaci and Vittorini-Siracusa prizes. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly commented: "There's nothing especially cheery about the portrait of the end of a life, but Piersanti brings grace to his depiction of a woman's last days in this quiet, perceptive novel, neatly translated by Hochfield." In addition to penning a number of other popular novels and a collection of short stories titled L'amore degli adulti, Piersanti collaborated on the screenplay for the film Vesna va veloce, directed by Carlo Mazzacurati in 1996.
Luisa is a sixty-year-old, single accountant who works for a toy manufacturer. Through Luisa and her coworkers—unremarkable characters—Piersanti depicts the complexities of every-day life against a backdrop of news events and contemporary Italian politics. Luisa begins experiencing disturbing psychological events: a dream of being trapped in a building with no floor or walls; a sudden and unexplained panic attack during lunch in a pleasant restaurant; seeing a lovely black cat die slowly after being hit by a car. The darker side of Luisa's existence is juxtaposed with memories of her vivacious, loving father and her former lover, Bruno, whom she has not seen for ten years. Upon finding a serious error in one of her accounts, and prompted by what seems to be failing health, she decides to retire. Isolated in her apartment, her ability to deal with others, including Bruno, who visits to fetch one of his possessions, deteriorates. Praising Piersanti's prose, a reviewer for Publishers Weekly commented: "Tenderly and delicately told, the tale of Luisa's descent into her final illness and isolation elegantly insinuates itself into the reader's consciousness."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2001, review of Luisa and the Silence, p. 1713.
Library Journal, April 1, 2002, Lisa Rohrbaugh, review of Luisa and the Silence, p. 142.
Publishers Weekly, December 17, 2001, review of Luisa and the Silence, p. 63.*