AN INITIATIVE FOR THE PROMOTION OF ITALIAN LITERATURE
AN ANNUAL EVENT TO STRENGTHEN LITERARY EXCHANGES BETWEEN ITALY AND THE UNITED STATES.
The first edition of the Italian Literary Fiction Festival will take place from June 6th – 8th across three prestigious venues with deep ties to Italian culture in New York: the Italian Cultural Institute, the Center for Italian Modern Art (CIMA), and Rizzoli Bookstore This literary celebration, thematically titled Multipli Forti: Voices from Contemporary Italian Literature is a transatlantic window to the major literary trends in contemporary Italian fiction. An initiative open to the public and for the literary community at large, the festival was envisioned by the by The Italian Cultural Institute of New York, with the collaboration of the FUIS (Italian Unitary Federation of Writers).
The artistic director of the festival is Maria Ida Gaeta, supported by a leading group of scholars and experts from renowned universities – Alessandro Giammei, Lucca Briasco, Chiara Benetollo, Monica Calabritto, Eugenio Refini. Six major themes were identified that shape today’s literature in the Italian language: collective/individual destinies, “Italianness,” political engagement, classicism, autoscopy, and place. The festival’s events will center upon a select group of luminary Italian writers and their reactions to these themes, which have taken the form of short stories, literary memories and meditations, swift little essays and, in some cases, even personal confessions.
The internationally celebrated group of Italian authors who have been invited to participate include: André Aciman, Edoardo Albinati, Jonathan Bazzi, Lauren Cerand, Teresa Ciabatti, Claudia Durastanti, Alain Elkann, Arianna Farinelli, Teresa Fiore, Michael Frank, Jonathan Galassi, Ann Goldstein, Eli Gottlieb, Margo Jefferson, Jhumpa Lahiri, Amara Lakhous, Vincenzo Latronico, Giancarlo Lombardi, Carlo Lucarelli, Valerio Magrelli, Jenny McPhee, Michael Moore, Michela Murgia, Francesco Pacifico, Lorenza Pieri, Todd Portnowitzs, Minna ZallmanProctor, Elisabetta Rasy, Walter Siti, Anthony Tamburri, Chiara Valerio, and Sandro Veronesi; with video contributions by Donatella Di Pietrantonio, Melania Mazzucco, Paolo Rumiz, Antonio Scurati, Nadia Terranova, and Emanuele Trevi.
Among the scheduled programming is a roundtable moderated by Micahel Reynolds (Europa Editions) and Luca Briasco of Minimum Fax, with Beniamino Ambrosi (Liz Chenay Agency), Tynan Kogane (Editor, New Directions), Sarah McNally (McNally Jackson Bookstories) and Dan Simon (Publisher, Seven Stories Press), which will discuss the promotion of Italian fiction in America.
A special event includes the announcement of the 2022 nominations for The Bridge Award. Several members of the American and Italian juries will be present along with nominated authors and past recipients of the Award.
The first theme is that of individual and collective destinies, along a line that connects Dante to contemporary attempts to write in the first person while writing about the whole world. The second is that of ‘Italianness’ itself, and that which we call ‘Italian Literature’ is informed by an amalgam of influences. The third, political engagement, spans from the Renaissance concept of inchiesta to the current hybridizations of fiction and reportage. The fourth is classicism – how the traditional idea of the novel endures today. The fifth theme is autoscopy: literary journeys into the self (auto-fiction, auto- theory, autobiography). The sixth and last theme encapsulates the places, of vernacular and dialectal traditions in a land of proudly different territories, and the thin line that separates the familiar and the unknown.
Each day’s events will be concentrated in one location, creating a centralized salon-like hub, giving attendees the opportunity to take in multiple conversations a single day. The events on June 6th take place at the Italian Cultural Institute (686 Park Avenue); on June 7th at CIMA (Center for Italian Modern Art, 421 Broome Street); and on June 8th at the Rizzoli Bookstore (1133 Broadway).
The Italian Literary Fiction Festival will travel at the end of September to Naples, in the splendid setting of the Royal Palace and the National Library, at the first edition of the Reading and Listening Festival promoted by the Campania Festival of Festivals. Literature serves as a wonderful bridge between two cities and worlds that have long had intertwined paths.
JUNE 6: Registration Link // Italian Cultural Institute:
JUNE 7: Registration Link // CIMA (Center for Italian Modern Art):
JUNE 8: Registration Link // Rizzoli Bookstore: