Autumn 2019 Newsletter Part II

 In THE NEWSLETTER, Uncategorized

Autumn 2019 Newsletter Part II

Autumn continues to bring good news for Santa Maddalena, and for past and present Fellows of the foundation.

Margaret Atwood, who needs no introduction and who delivered last year’s Lectio Magistralis at the Premio Gregor von Rezzori, has just won the Booker prize for her novel The Testaments, a sequel to A Handmaids Tale. We’re delighted to congratulate Margaret on these recent successes.

Edward Docx, a frequent Fellow over the years, spent several weeks with us working on his new novel and the film script for Let Go My Hand, but returned to London as a result of fast-moving events regarding Brexit. Edward has been very active in Westminster politics and campaigned hard for Remain.

Thankfully we are still graced with the presence of Mercedes Cebrian, who was the Guest Editor of the Penguin Random House imprint “Caballo de Troya” in Spain during 2018. Mercedes’ new poetry book, Muchacha de Castilla (La Bella Varsovia, 2019), hot off the press, will be released in Spain in mid-November. After some years devoted to writing poetry, essays and food chronicles, she is working on a novel in Santa Maddalena. She’s also the only one who is able to master Clo Clo, the new impossibly wild dog.

Edwin Frank, editorial director of New York Review Books, recently celebrated the twentieth anniversary of the NYRB Classics series, in which Gregror von Rezzori’s magnum opus, Abel and Cain, appeared earlier this year. For the twentieth anniversary of the series, he put together an anthology of writings from it entitled The Red Thread. At Santa Maddalena, he has been working on an international history of the twentieth-century novel (not, he hastens to add, the same thing as every novel in the twentieth-century!). In the photograph, he is shown teaching Falcone, the new assistant, how to edit newsletters.

Isabelle Mayault has taken up residence in the tower to work on her second novel. Her first, Une Longe Nuit Mexicaine, published by Gallimard in February, concerns the discovery of a mysterious suitcase containing Robert Capa’s lost negatives from the Spanish Civil War. Isabelle recently took a brief trip to Corsica, to receive the Prix Ulysse for her first novel. She has worked as a journalist in Beirut, Algeria, Istanbul, Cairo, Burkina Faso and Madagascar.

We are looking forward to welcoming Claudia Durastanti to Santa Maddalena in the coming days. Claudia’s fourth and latest novel, La Straniera, a fictionalised account of her parents’ relationship and her early life, was a finalist for this year’s Premio Strega.

Michael Cunningham is also presently at Santa Maddalena, his first visit during the olive season. Michael was a Fellow on five different occasions, and delivered the Lectio Magistralis at the 2010 Premio Gregor von Rezzori. He is a frequent visitor and one of the most loved friends of Santa Maddalena.

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