Emanuele Trevi

Emanuele Trevi (Rome, 1964) is the son of Jungian psychoanalyst Mario Trevi and it is to him that the author dedicates his new book, to be published by Ponte alle Grazie. He is a novelist, literary critic and essayist. He has presented various radio programs and is the author of stage plays. Alongside Arnaldo Colasanti, he has been creative director of the publishing house Fazi and edited the works of Emilio Salgari, John Fante, Goffredo Parise, Giosetta Fioroni, Giorgio Manganelli, Edmondo De Amicis and many others. His fiction debut came in 2003 with I cani del nulla (Einaudi stile libero), but it was with his memoir-novel Qualcosa di scritto (Something Written Down, Ponte alle Grazie, 2012) that he focused on a specific literary form: fiction essay, positioned between biography, fiction and personal memoir. Qualcosa di scritto recreates the days of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s death and was shortlisted for the Strega prize, going on to win the European Literature Prize, a great success with over 40,000 copies sold, translated into 15 languages. Then came Il popolo di legno (Einaudi stile libero, 2015) and Sogni e favole (Ponte alle Grazie, 2019), (winner of the Premio Letterario Viareggio-Repaci). However, it was with Due vite (Neri Pozza, 2020), a fiction-biography and homage to the memory of two writers and friends, Pia Pera and Rocco Carbone, that Trevi won the Strega in 2021. His other books include Viaggi iniziatici. Percorsi, pelegrinaggi, riti e libri (Utet, 2021) and L’onda del porto. Un sogno fatto in Asia (Neri Pozza, 2022). He has been writing for many years for Il Corriere della sera and La Lettura.

La casa del mago

(The Magician's House)

Ponte alle Grazie, September 2023

40,000 copies sold!

A new novel by the winner of the Premio Strega 2021.

A true story that becomes a novel and focuses on the most demanding of family bonds: the one between a father and a son. Like in the best game of mirrors with the author as the protagonist, the search for his father becomes a search for himself and all the lives he left behind.

Emanuele’s father is a Jungian psychologist, a magician capable of healing wounded souls. As a child, Emanuele soon learns that in order to survive in his father’s orbit it’s best for him to be a peripheral figure. After all, his mother keeps saying “You know what he’s like” whenever she talks about his father. But Emanuele doesn’t really know and, after his father dies, very little is left of him except an apartment no one wants, where the invisible mists of the lives and sorrows he had healed, oiled and straightened still linger.

So Emanuele decides to buy this flat and to live permanently in that atmosphere still hovering after his father’s life was cut short, because – first as a son, then as a writer – he wants to reconstruct the identity of a man who never left anything of himself in writing.

Rights Sold

France:Philippe Rey; Spain: Sexto Piso; Turkish: Ayrinti/Dusbaz.

Option Publishers: Brazil: Ayiné;  Germany: Oktaven.

Sogni e favole

(Dreams and Fables)

Ponte alle Grazie, January 2019

Viareggio Prize winner

The illusion of love, of poetry and of modernity are the protagonists of a novel that is cultured and moving.

English sample available

Rome, 1983. The 20th century is still in full bloom. Emanuele Trevi, a university student – not even twenty yet – works every evening in a film club in the city centre. One night, at the end of a film by Tarkovsky, he comes into the auditorium and finds a man alone and in tears. He is Arturo Patten, an American who has relocated to Rome, and is one of the greatest portrait photographers ever. For the brief rest of the century, Emanuele will listen to the lessons of his friend – a cross between Candlewick and Talking Cricket – who leads a life of enviable intensity, and, thanks to him, will meet intellectuals and artists who will lead him to research 18th-century highly-acclaimed librettist and court poet Metastasio, author of the sonnet Sogni, e favole io fingo (Dreams and Fables which I often feign). And so these tales “fancy” the entirety of great modern literature conjured up here, from Pushkin to Pessoa and even the prominent 20th-century Italian poet Amelia Rosselli, who lives on the same street as Arturo and who, like him, will end her life by choice.

Together with Arturo, she and her heritage are the other protagonist of the “strange book” of Trevi’s: at the same time an autobiographical novel and a digressing essay. Arturo, Amelia and Metastasio lead him and us into the heart of a rainy, archaic Rome, into the symbolic circle of depression and senselessness, towards the essential port of illusion: if, as Metastasio writes, imaginary stories arouse in us the same emotion as true events, then perhaps real life is made up of dreams and fables.

Rights Sold

France: Actes Sud.

Qualcosa di scritto

(Something Written)

Ponte alle Grazie, March 2012

Award-Winner 2012 European Union Prize for Literature.

Pier Paolo Pasolini is at once a myth, a ghost, an obsession and an unachievable role-model in this ambitious, intimate and profound book that encompasses fiction, autobiography and literary criticism.

The novel’s protagonist, his vicissitudes, his ambitions and his whole life revolves around one of the greatest intellectuals of the 20th century, Pier Paolo Pasolini. This is a curious situation of “indirect knowledge”: the protagonist works at the Pasolini Foundation together with Laura Betti – a close friend of the great author and an actress in many of his films. His research focuses on Petrolio, the intriguing book Pasolini worked on from 1972 until his death. Surrounded by signs of the dead author, the protagonist perceives Pasolini as a ghostly presence. Petrolio is more than just a book: it becomes an extension of the protagonist’s body that helps him to experiment ways of life formerly inaccessible.

When looking at the great example set by Pasolini, the protagonist’s life looks like a comical and bloodless replica. He is about to turn thirty, his first novel is about to be published, and the two most important women in his life are pushing him to face up to the great author: his colleague Betti accuses him of being a spineless hypocrite while the woman he loves keeps asking him to hit her. Despite feeling guilty, the protagonist is unable to stand up to their requests.

Rights Sold

Albania: Botimet Dudaj; Bulgaria: Prozoretz; Croatia: Vuković & Runjić; World English Rights: World Editions; France: Actes Sud; Holland: De Geus; Georgia: Agora; Hungary: Kalligram; Macedonia: Magor; Romania: Vellant; Russia: Ad Marginem, Serbia: Geopoetika, Slovakia: Kalligram; Slovenia: Beletrina;. Word Spanish Rights: Sexto Piso.

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