Francesco Pecoraro

Francesco Pecoraro (1945) was born in Rome, where he still lives. He has published a collection of short stories and a poetry collection. Ponte alle Grazie published his first novel, La vita in tempo di pace (Life in Peacetime, 2013), a resounding success that sold 30,000 copies, third runner-up in the Strega Prize, winner of the Viareggio Prize, the Mondello Prize, and finalist for the Volponi Prize. Foreign rights sold to Seagull Books (world English rights), Lattes (France), Wereldbibliotheek (Holland), Editorial Periférica (world Spanish rights), Epsilon (Turkey). In 2019 he wrote Lo stradone (The Road): foreign rights sold to Editorial Periférica (world Spanish rights) and in 2021 the collection of 21 stories Camere e stanze (Rooms and Bedrooms).

Solo vera è l'estate

(Only the Summer is True)

Ponte alle Grazie, February 2023

36 hours in the lives of three average young people during the summer of 2001.

In the shadow of the dreadful days of the G8 Summit in Genoa, Pecoraro portrays a generation of defeated thirty-somethings, between the fall of a political identity and the search for a place in the world.

It is 20 July 2001 and Rome stretches under the sweltering cloak of a motionless summer. Enzo, Giacomo and Filippo are childhood friends united by an unsteady attempt at middle-class stability and their friend Biba. They are driving to the sea to spend an evening like so many others when the radio broadcasts the events of the G8 Summit in Genoa. That is precisely where Biba is: she has gone there to see what would happen and finds herself witnessing the bloody battle that involves many of her peers, mainly peaceful anti-globalisation protesters. Overwhelmed by the violence, Biba feels only fear and alienation and decides not to stay a moment longer and to return to her three friends. The following morning, they all get together possibly for the last time: Biba tells them what she saw… Nothing will ever be the same again, but nothing will truly change.

Camere e stanze

(Rooms and Bedrooms)

Ponte alle Grazie, October 2021

A collection of 21 stories in which Francesco Pecoraro exhibits with his extraordinary prose a gallery of characters – emblems of the human condition and of the profound changes in the contemporary world – who are analysed almost clinically, but not without aching, deep compassion.

In a dystopian future dominated by Samsung and where the only human interaction allowed is at a Global Table, there live characters as imaginative as they are emblematic of the casting adrift of humankind: like Sandro and Clara, who no longer know how to talk to each other; like Fregni and the unwitting violence of adolescence. There are also artists trying to bring together art and life, uprooted creatures and failed attempts at communication. The setting is the imaginary City of the Sea, the City of God, abandoned furnaces, districts and workplaces as a social mosaic. The themes are the violence of the class war, the struggle for life and the perennial battle of everyone against everyone.

Rights Sold

Option Publisher: Editorial Periférica (World Spanish rights).

Lo stradone

(The Road)

Ponte alle Grazie, April 2019

After an absence of five years, Francesco Pecoraro returns to writing with his vitriolic pen that etches on the paper a novel that is unforgettable, digressive, moving, ruthlessly funny and deeply painful: a precise depiction of the socio-moral decline of our times.

The protagonist is a seventy-year-old retired man, a former Art History researcher with a modest civil service career behind him. From his 20th-century, middle-class, physically declining viewpoint, he tells us about his own mediocre existence and also the current life and story of a district in the City of God (Rome, although it is never mentioned): the “Road”. Within its complex social and anthropological make-up, the “Road” actually contains all the specific factors of the “stagnation” of contemporary society: social immobility, the impoverishment of the middle classes, the arrogance of politics and the nouveaux-riches, the search for status even in poverty, the war among the poor, the collapse of community values, the end of the Left and of political commitment. A decadent, feverish place where the ongoing economic crisis of the “terrible 2010s” seems to have undermined the foundations of the late-20th-century social truce and rekindles new egotism, new barriers and a new danger of totalitarianism. A novel in which practically nothing happens – the way nothing happens in our cities anymore – and yet the great story of a century of utopias and disillusionment that did happen.

Rights Sold

World Spanish Rights: Editorial Periférica

La vita in tempo di pace

(Life in Peacetime)

Ponte alle Grazie, October 2013

Over 30,000 copies sold

Prix Femina Selection

An extremely ambitious and fully-realized debut novel: La vita in tempo di pace displays an original intelligence and an unprecedented depth of feeling.

Full English Translation Available

Ivo Brandani has always lived in a time of peace. His story starts on the 29th May 2015 when Ivo, a sixty-nine-year-old engineer, is disenchanted, angry and morbidly attached to life. While coming back from Egypt, in a state of dreamlike limbo, Ivo revisits the different stages of his middle-class existence, from the present to the past: the sharp decline of the 2000s, the hypocrisy of the 1990s and, going further back in time, the student protests in the 1960s, the discovery of love and sex and the barbaric world that emerged from World War II, a time when Brandani was only a child experiencing his first nightmares and challenges. Razor-sharp and relentless, digressive and compelling, this book tells the story of a country and exposes the contradictions of the Italian as well as the European middle-class from the point of view of a lucid anti-hero: an exploration of the weaknesses and aspirations, the enthusiasm and nastiness of a people, of what we wanted to be and what, despite our best intentions, we have eventually become.

Rights Sold

World English Rights: Seagull Books; France: Lattes; Holland: Wereldbibliotheek; World Spanish Rights: Editorial Periférica; Turkey: Epsilon.

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