Literary Fiction

Lo stradone

(The Road)

Ponte alle Grazie, April 2019, pp.448

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.

Ponte alle Grazie, April 2019, pp.448

  • “The kind of novel that aims to provide literary and moral relief; one that shields the reader from culture through culture. […] Lo stradone (The Road) is well written […] manages to alternate sector-specific language with spoken style, through direct as well as free, indirect speech, the technical and the vernacular…”

    Il Sole 24 Ore

  • “Extraordinary writing that brings back a time – the 20th century – and a place – Rome – with the unique viewpoint of someone who watches what he loves deteriorate.”

    Helena Janeczek, 2018 Strega Prize Winner

  • “Good writers always creep up on you, unseen. Francesco Pecoraro is able to strike us with something I alone could never even imagine.”

    Nicola Lagioia, 2015 Strega Prize Winner

  • “I get the feeling there is something extraordinary in the way Pecoraro perceives and brings back inner architecture, so complex with minimal outward signs.”

    Giorgio Vasta

  • “A formidable “anthropological” novel.”

    Goffredo Fofi, Avvenire

Rights Sold

World Spanish Rights: Editorial Periférica

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).

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