Ilide Carmignani is one of Italy’s the most prominent translators, known in particular for being ‘the voice’ of Luis Sepúlveda and Roberto Bolaño, and works with some of the most prestigious Italian publishing houses. Awarded the Literary Translation Prize of the Istituto Cervantes, she has always eagerly devoted herself to bringing awareness to the work of translators through seminars, conferences and writings. This is her first work of fiction.
Storia di Luis Sepúlveda e del suo gatto Zorba
(The Story of Luis Sepúlveda and his Cat Zorba)
Adriano Salani Editore, March 2021
This is the warm, powerful story of the Chilean writer Luis Sepúlveda as told to a cat, written by his long-time translator.
Born on a beautiful spring day in a hotel in the land on the edge of the world, Luis – also known as Lucho – begins his tale, starting from his grandparents and his childhood in Santiago, before recollecting his first love and encounter with Carmen Yáñez, his lifelong partner. The cat listens to him talk about the enthusiasm at the election of a president called Allende and the tragic coup that forces him into exile, about his long stay in the Amazon with the Shuar people, and about his arrival in Hamburg, where, surrounded by a brand-new reality, he makes up the story of the Seagull to help his three children fall asleep.
This is a fairy tale that becomes an exemplary tribute from friend and translator Ilide Carmignani to a writer and to the love of literature that forms bonds. It’s a book consisting of different layers, a book within a book, a story within a story, because translating is stepping into someone else’s footprints.