Andrea De Carlo – a famous Italian writer, the author of many books translated into different languages. In my adventure with Italian literature he has been accompanying me for already over ten years. Since I have learnt italiano well enough to read novels his books started to accumulate in my private library. But I never managed to meet him personally, till one Sunday few weeks ago.
He was invited for International Book Fair called il Salone Internazionale del Libro that took place in Turin between May 16th and 20th. During one hour meeting with his readers Andrea De Carlo presented his newest novel “Villa Metaphora” and he read some fragments (demonstrating the interpretation skills, by the way…). The meeting itself was very exciting for me and I was pleased to have a little talk with one of my favorite novelists and to get his signature on my already read copy of “Villa Metaphora”. A what can I tell about the author itself?: cool, young of heart and body (he doesn’t look his age), he is smiling and full of energy person.
The novel – currently available only in Italian, but I’m sure it would be translated into other languages – is a very interesting story taking place on imaginary island Tari, in a luxury resort projected by an architect from Milan. During one week 14 people, both hotel guests and its employees, stayed there: the architect, his assistant and lover, her cousin (originated from Tari), a French journalist, a powerful German banker and his wife, an American famous actress and her husband, a young artists, Italian politician, a carpenter, a talented Spanish chef and finally an Italian couple. Despite a plot that moves rapidly reader can find a picture of Italy – political and business reality, social issues, as well as writer’s introspection about the modern world. The story is presented from 14 main character points of view, in 14 different narrative styles.
„Villa Metaphora” seems very long (more than 900 pages), but it’s only first impression. In fact I had to slow down myself not to finish it too soon as it was a pure pleasure for me to spend time with this book. I was reading it during the winter evening and it was really nice to travel to a sunny island, surrounded by blue water of Mediterranean Sea, with the author eyes watch exotic plants and a splendid, completely isolated hotel Villa Metaohora, accessible only by boat.
After the meeting with Andrea De Carlo I had some time to visit different stands, as well. Except such Italian giants like Mondadori, Bompiani, Enaudi, DeAgostini or Zanichelli, there were present small editors. For the first time it was created a space (Casa CookBook) dedicated to cooking events like shows, tastings, laboratories organized by specialized publishers.
Despite omnipresent economical crisis and reading decline organizers noted the increase of number of visitors (329 860 sold tickets, which is 4% more than 2012), young people included. And what is interesting Salone del Libro wasn’t limited only to Turin city. Events took place also in communes around the capital of Piedmont: Rivoli, Orbassano, Chivasso, Settimo Torinese and Alba organized an event White Night of Bookshops (La Notte Bianca delle Librerie).
And if you want to know better Andrea De Carlo, let’s visit his official webpage (available also in English), where you will find some fragments of “Villa Metaphora” read by its author: http://www.andreadecarlo.com/www.andreadecarlo.com/Ciao.html