Francesca Melandri at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura with Eva Sleeps
On February 23rd 2017, I will have the great pleasure of meeting up once again with Francesca Melandri, author of the novel Eva Sleeps.
Francesca and I last met in Rome in November 2016, where we celebrated the exhibition Irish in Italy at the Biblioteca Nazionale, curated by Antonio Bibbò.
We both took part, along with Federica Sgaggio, in a lively post-exhibition discussion about all of the literary links that have existed between our two countries, particularly since the early years of the twentieth century.
Of course, it’s not the first time that Francesca and I have worked together.
Back in 2010, with the support of the Irish Writers’ Centre and the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Dublin, the Italian writer Federica Sgaggio and I put our heads together and came up with the idea of establishing a literary exchange between our two countries.
Over the next few years, many stimulating and productive meetings between Irish and Italian writers took place in both countries, and in 2013 Dublin had the great pleasure of hosting the great Dacia Maraini as one of the guests of our Exchange.
Arising out of all of this cross-cultural fertilization, an anthology celebrating the work of those Italian and Irish writers who had been part of the Italo-Irish Literature Exchange was published in 2015.
Called Lost Between in English and published by New Island, it showcased the work of several writers, both emerging and established – including Francesca Melandri.
In Italy, Guanda published the Italian language version, entitled Tra Una Vita e l’Altra. Both versions received a very warm welcome in their respective homelands and links have been forged among us all that will continue in the future.
It is, therefore, a particular pleasure for me to meet and chat once again with Francesca Melandri at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura on the evening of Thursday 23rd February at 18.30.
We will be the guests of the ever-generous Renata Sperandio and I’m looking forward to exploring with Francesca – and the audience – the trajectory of this particular novel, a compelling saga of family and community, of politics and divisions, of language and identity.
So, brave the winter chills and come into the warm embrace of the Italian Cultural Institute in Fitzwilliam Square and join us for a stimulating evening.