Literary Fiction

Frieda

(Frieda)

Ponte alle Grazie, February 2020, pp.312

A family saga in which love, passion, solitude and betrayal are depicted against the background of great historical upheavals in the early 20th century.

A powerful historical fresco that takes us into Italy’s cosmopolitan environment of the Belle Époque, to the Vienna of joyous apocalypse, the Germany of the Great War then the Weimar Republic, already tainted by budding Nazism, and, finally, to the young and entrancing Buenos Aires of the Thirties.

This novel was written in parallel in French and Italian.

The Frieda of the book title is Frieda von Richthofen, the daughter of a German officer, cousin of the Red Baron and, above all, the muse and wife of D.H. Lawrence. A highly attractive seductress, she is the source of inspiration and passion for the protagonist and narrator of the novel, Joachim von Tilly.

The eleventh descendant of Count von Tilly of Hanover, Joachim seems destined to follow in his father’s footsteps at the helm of the family steelworks. But the road already mapped out for him by this constricting heritage soon turns into an escape that takes him to Naples and Capri, then Vienna, Berlin and, finally, Buenos Aires.

Joachim’s endless escape is studded with encounters, love affairs, hopes and betrayals. These lines, read by Joachim in a mysterious book discovered in Buenos Aires, perhaps suffice to summarise his adventurous life: “Man believes that his decisions extend over a large sphere of action when they actually merely sway between flight and nostalgia.”

 

A classic and at the same time very modern novel with a publishing history full of adventures. A few hundred copies of Frieda were already published in 2015 when it attracted the attention of reviewers and critics. It made the selection for the Campiello prize but had to be withdrawn because of the low print run and an insufficient number of copies to be sent to all the judges. But the press had fallen in love with it by then and there was an increasing number of reviews. Now, Ponte alle Grazie is relaunching this author with an international flavour, a kept promise of Italian literature.

Ponte alle Grazie, February 2020, pp.312

  • “A splendid debut novel.”

    “La Lettura”, Corriere della Sera

  • “A novel of rare narrative and literary power […] A great novel […] A masterpiece.”

    il Giornale

  • A wonderful novel”.

    La Stampa

  •  “A splendid masterpiece… Pages of high-level literature.”

    “Le Monde diplomatique”, il manifesto

  • “A novel with a Mitteleuropean flavour that resonates with present-day Europe.”

    “La Lettura”, Corriere della Sera

  •  “A writing style with stunning vocal and sentimental fullness… A journey of violent relevance to the present day.”

    The Huffington Post Italy

  • “C’est un beau roman, servi par une langue précise et délicate. Roman d’Histoire et de géographie, on y voyage sans cesse, dans les époques et dans les continents, entre Mitteleuropa et Nouveau monde. Christophe Palomar a le talent de nouer le destin de ses personnages au fil d’évènements connus et aux trajets de figures réelles, qu’elles soient politiques ou artistiques. Il séduit son lecteur en le surprenant souvent. Voilà donc un beau livre, intelligent mais accessible. »

    Philippe Claudel

  • “A splendid meteorite from somewhere or other.”

    Satisfiction

  • “An author with doubtless talent and a splendid writing style.”

    Roberta De Monticelli, writer and philosopher

  • “A 20th-century novel rather than one from the new millennium.”

    Valeria Parrella, Grazia

Christophe Palomar

Christophe Palomar was born in France of an Italian father and Spanish mother and grew up in Tunis, where he attended a French school. He graduated from HEC (École des hautes études commerciales) in Paris and Bocconi University in Milan, before embarking on a career in management, which took him on wide, sometimes extended travels. He left the company in 2017 in order to do a Master’s degree in business coaching. Ever since, he has divided his time between corporate consultancy by day and literature by night.

We use cookies.

This site uses cookies to improve your browsing experience. By using this site, you consent to the use of cookies described in our Cookie Policy. Also read our Privacy Policy.