Los besos en el pan by Almudena Grandes

Almudena GrandesI’ve just finished Los besos en el pan, a moving ensemble novel that follows a year in the lives of families, neighbours, parents, children, the young and the elderly, ordinary people who have the courage to keep going in spite of the crisis and of the hard times.

The stories are all settled in a  Madrid neighbourhood but they become a realistic  and social portrait of the recent past, not only in Spain.

The title of the book derives from a tradition of kissing the bread as a sign of gratitude.  Young people have lost that habit and they find it more difficult to face the crisis that has  threatened to turn their lives upside down.

All these neighbours of the novel, Los besos en el pan will experience bittersweet moments of unexpected solidarity, of indignation and rage, of tenderness and tenacity. Therefore, Almudena Grandes’ novel is not only a portrait of a period of crisis, but also a story of how people can try to resist thanks to friendship and solidarity.

For a more detailed review of the book, please read my post in my Italian blog: www.creativepalabras.altervista.org


The Springs of Affection, by Maeve Brennan

Meave Brennan 2This summer I’ve discovered a surprising collection of short stories: The spring of Affection by Maeve Brennan.  Since I love Irish literature, I couldn’t but be inspired by this writer. As you can see in this post, there is the picture of the Italian edition. Anyway, both the English and Italian edition have a beautiful picture of Maeve Brennan (1917-1993). She was a very beautiful, elegant Irish writer and journalist. Though she spent the most part of her life in United States with a along career as a staff writer at the New Yorker, Ireland remains the setting of her stories.

The Springs of Affection comprises three sets of stories. The first series would appear to be genuinely autobiographical; they are told in the first person and revolve around a child named Maeve. The second and third series concern two married couples: Hubert and Rose Derdon and their son, John and then Martin and Delia Bagot and their two small daughters, Lily and Margaret. Then it continues on after the Begot’s death, with Martin’s 87-year old maiden twin sister, Min, in the story from which the collection takes its title.

The spring of Affection is well summed up in the words of William Maxwell, Brennan’s longtime editor at the New Yorker: “As as a study of one kind of unhappy marriage “. They are all stories about unhappy marriages, about men and women who live together but feel distant and imprisoned in their houses. Continue reading

FESTIVALETTERATURA: an international literary festival in Mantua (Italy)

I’d like to talk to you about the international literary festival that will take place in Mantua. Five days full of cultural fun, of meetings with authors, readings, performances, concerts with artists from all over the world in a joyful atmosphere. The most interesting voices of the emerging literature and of the younger generation will be present. And Mantua is also a very beautiful, artistic city.

Mantua will be the right place fot all the lovers of literature next week. I would suggest some meetings with writers:

Tracy Chevalier, : on Wednesdy 9 at17.30 

Marcelo Figueras, an Argentinean writer: on Thursday   10 settembre h 21.00

Kazuo Ishiguro, on Saturday 12 settembre at 11,15

Martin Caparrós, an Argentinean writer:

Javier Cercas, an Argentinean writer:

 The meeting with Mario Vargas Llosa,  Nobel prize winner in 2010 will close the festival.

For those who love, like me, Irish literature, I suggest  the event on Friday  11at 18,00 l “Scritture d’Irlanda”: with the Irish writer Joseph O’Connor.

There are many other interesting events during the Festival, so see the official program: http://www.festivaletteratura.it/it/2015/eventi

Catherine Dunne’s last novel: “All that I’ve loved”

Catherine Dunne – All that I’ve loved

All that I’ve loved is Catherine Dunne’s last novel and my last summer reading too- I have read others novels by the same Irish author.  I also had the honour to meet Dunne some years ago in Italy during a creative writing workshop.  I remember her suggestions for a successfull creative writing process:  passion, patience and professionalism .

As you can see from the picture, The Italian title of “All that I’ve loved” is “Un terribile amore“. Actually, it is not a translation of the original title (it means A terrbile Love) but, perhaps more explicit.


Like in other Dunne‘s  novels, in “All that I’ve loved”  women are the protagonists of the story. Howeverer, while the previuous novels were set in Ireland and particularly centred on domestic Irish life, “All that I’ve loved” has a wider setting including Ireland,  Spain and Cyprus.

In “All that I’ve loved” Calista, the Irish women, and Pilar, the Spanish, live two parallel stories and meet a terrible, wrong love that will upset their life. Their destiny is thretened by the forces of a classical Greek tragedy: passionate love, hate and desire of revenge, error and redemption. Calista and Pilar are struggling against a male world. They can’t but rely on their courage and their will, without betraying themselves.


LORCA’S WOMEN by Alessia Balan

Copertina 1-1,6 rev1 Eng

I would like to present my new book: Lorca’s women. Actually, it is an e-book, a collection of short stories related to Federico García Lorca ‘s works and life.

LORCA’S WOMEN are some of the women in the poetic and theatre world of Federico Garcia Lorca who, through these stories, acquire an identity of their own and new life.Bernarda, Yerma, Soledad and the Bride urgently pursue a passion or the madness of an obsession, to escape from the life others have chosen for them. Argentinita is the only woman in the collection not created by the imagination of Lorca. She was his lifelong friend and artistic collaborator. 

 I hope you’ll enjoy it and I would be pleased to receive your comments!


FESTIVALETTERATURA will take place in Mantua next week from 3rd to 7th of September. It has become one of the greatest Italian literary festival. Its first edition took place in 1997.

Internationally famous narrators and poet, the most interesting voices of emerging literature and of the younger generations of writers, essayists, musicians, artists will take part in FESTIVALETTERATURA.

One of the aim of this festival is to create a more direct connection between readers and writers, with new experimental ways of researching and exchanging experiences.

But there is another important reason to go the festival׃ to visit the city of Mantua with its squares, theatres, the interiors of the beautiful palazzos. Guided tours of Mantua’s historical and cultural heritage have been organized

FESTIVALELTTERAURA will offer poetry readings and public speeches, theatre performances, events in the original languages, brief meeting with famous authors.

Only some author that will be at the festival this year׃ Colm Toibin, Olov Enquist, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, Annie Ernaux…


This is the link to the 2014 EDITION OF THE  FESTIVALETTERAURA http://www.festivaletteratura.it/index.php



One of my short story has been published in the first Italian open-ebook “L’intimo delle donne” by Libreriamo Publishing. It’s an idea created by one of the most important Italian blog on books and book-related news.. From a crowdsourcing project, a collection of short stories denouncing violence, mistreatments against women, but with a message of hope at the end.

I’m glad to invite you to visit  www.libreriamo.it  a, the download of the e-book is free!




Vicenza is situated in the Veneto region of northern Italy o, adn is worldwide famous for  its  Andrea Palladio (1508–80)’s works  which  give the city its unique appearance. Palladio’s urban buildings, as well as his villas, scattered throughout the Veneto region, had a decisive influence on the development of architecture. His work inspired a distinct architectural style known as Palladian, which spread to England and other European countries, and also to North America.

From 10th to 18th  of May, Vicenza will also be the city of jazz, with “Vicenza Jazz”  festival. http://www.vicenzajazz.org/it/protagonisti.php

The protagonists of the festival:  Henry Threadgill & Zooid,,Orchestra del Teatro Olimpico,,Trio Bob Mintzer-, John Abercrombie-Miroslav Vitous,The New Gary Burton Quartet,Enrico Pieranunzi Trio,We Three Gianluca Petrella & Giovanni Guidi, Pharoah Sanders Quartet,Mike Stern/Bill Evans Band,Enrico Rava Quintet, Earth Wind & Fire Experience feat. Al McKay, Ernst Reijseger, Al Di Meola & Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Ilhan Ersahin’s Istanbul Sessions, Balanescu Quartet,Jim Black & AlasNoAxis, Kevin Mahogany meets Massimo Faraò Trio, Luca Boscagin London Project, Rusconi, The Tommaso Cappellato Orchestra, Alessandro Lanzoni Trio, Alessandro Paternesi P.O.V. Quintet, Enrico Zanisi Trio, Simone Graziano Quintet feat. David Binney, M: modulazioni audiovisive, Apolide Quartet feat. Adam Nussbaum, Café Touba, Funk off, i locali del jazz, Delorean

Teatro Olimpico

Teatro Olimpico (by Andrea Palladio), La Basilica (by Andrea Palladio) and The city Theatre will be the main places of the festival. But jazz will be the protagonist  of Vicenza’s nights and the main theme suggested by restaurants and bars too where a lot of jazz groups will alternate. Just to mention one of them: JazzArt4et https://www.facebook.com/pages/JazzArt/196199540418348?fref=ts