The bulletin

The Santa Maddalena Newsletter, 2016 – I



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Wonderful and exciting news about our fellow writers have arrived, and so we thought we’d share, in no particular order, their accomplishments here with you.



Congratulations to our Fellow Jennifer Clement, the praised author of Prayers for the Stolen, who has been recently elected the President of PEN International. She is the first woman ever to have that position. Her work focuses on the disappearance and killing of journalists. Human rights issues have often motivated her writing.

Glorious recognition for Colm Tóibín: first, his novel Nora Webster won the Hawthornden Prize 2015; then Brooklyn, published in 2009, became a film last November, directed by John Crowley with a script by Nick Hornby. The beautiful Saoirse Ronan did a magnificent rendition of Eilis, the soulful heroine torn between two worlds. A real lesson in irishness – which brought home 3 Oscar nominations. Read here for his thoughts on filming Brooklyn.

Great news for Alberto Manguel: as a coronation of his long expertise in, and friendship for, books he was nominated the director of the Buenos Aires National Library, starting July 2016. He will occupy the seat of Jorge Luís Borges.


Since winning the Premio Gregor von Rezzori – Città di Firenze in 2014, Maylis de Kerangal has been caught in a wave of international acknowledgement. She has received a long list of prizes and recognition for her moving novel The Heart (UK title: Mend the living). She has received innumerable enthusiastic reviews on two sides of the ocean. Here are some examples: The New York Times and The Guardian. This novel was so successful that it has now been long listed for The Man Booker International Prize 2016. Congratulations, Maylis!

Marie NDiaye, who was a finalist for our Premio Gregor von Rezzori – Città di Firenze in 2011 is now on the longlist for The Man Booker International Prize 2016 for her novel Ladivine.

The Spanish-language edition of Gregor von Rezzori’s 800 page masterpiece, La muerte de mi hermano Abel, published by Sexto Piso and magnificently translated by José Aníbal Campos, has had an extraordinary success in both Mexico and Spain. The article “La maestro del fracas” by Juan Villoro in El País was followed by innumerable reviews. José Aníbal Campos has been recently working for several months in Santa Maddalena on the translation of Rezzori’s Cain, the still unpublished manuscript which he was still writing at the end of his days.

We are pleased to announce that our colleague Alba Donati is the new President of the Gabinetto Vieusseux of Florence. The Gabinetto Vieusseux, which played a vital role in linking the culture of Italy with that of foreign countries, was frequented by many illustrious writers who spent time in Florence and consulted its very rich archives. Among then Stendhal, Dostoyevski, Mark Twain, Zola, Kipling, André Gide, Aldous Huxley, D. H. Lawrence.