Andrea Bajani (1975) will be visiting Amsterdam in August as writer in residence.
Bajani’s debut novel Se consideri le colpe from 2007 was received with much praise in Italy, and awarded with the Premio Mondello in 2008. In 2010 his fifth novel Ogni Promessa appeared. Both novels were translated by Yond Boeke and Patty Krone by request of publisher Athenaeum. This year Bajani’s Het leven is niet alfabetisch (Life is not Alphabetical) (Athenaeum, 2015) came out.
Every person tries to give meaning to their life. Bajani does this by using the alphabet, whilst knowing life does not progress like the alphabet. Bajani wrote forty exceptionally short stories, which, alphabetically ordered, span a lifetime. Everybody can compose their own history from them. Love. Cigarettes. Melancholy. Without. They are profound stories – but lighthearted at the same time.
The Dutch translation is a marvelous creation. Since the Dutch translation rearranges the order of the stories (In the Dutch translation ‘Youth’ (jeugd) comes before ‘Love’ (liefde), in Italian it is the other way round) a whole new book is formed. Moreover the Dutch language knows more letters in its alphabet than the Italian language. This is why Banjani wrote a unique set of extra stories for the Dutch translation. He also added an epilogue that comments on their origins. Thus, the nature of the collaboration between authors and translators is rejuvenated, with a unique piece of art as a result.
- More information about the writer in residence programme.