An industrial variation on crime fiction
144 pages, € 13,00
“Industrialisation” – that is, the period of change that transforms a human group from an agrarian society into an industrial one – is a word that doesn’t even make sense in a place like Sant’Eligio. Built specifically as a company town for a steel mill, it dies out when the business folds: there was never any room for a “transformation” of sort, no bucolic past on the wane.
The only legacy of the town’s fleeting existence is, ironically, a “Rural Museum”: in its utter pointlessness and in stark contrast to the blue-collar origin of Sant’Eligio, the museum becomes nonetheless a key institution, as well as the only excuse for the presence of an attendant, a police station and a police chief.
Spicing up the story is an extremely open-minded woman, an ingenious character who, unlike her dull, good-for-nothing husband, is able to fashion a brave new world full of plenty and promises.
The seven deadly sins walk like characters amidst the pages, featuring, too, in the parallel storyline of a young couple. A voyage to the end of the world, where death is the final foe. What’s ultimately in it for us – blessing or sin?
Diego Bernasconi was born in Mendrisio, between the Po Valley and the Alpine foothills, in 1971. He was still very young when his parents founded a drama society: his childhood realm was thus made of scripts, stages, dressing rooms and curtains.
In the Nineties he started adapting dramas for several theatre societies. In 2000, in co-authorship with his father, he wrote his first comedy.
It was the beginning of a crescendo: all the ideas he had harboured could finally take shape. He wrote three more comedies; a short novel called Lutto alle pompe funebri (“Mourning at the funeral home”), which earned him a special plaque at the 2014 Stresa Prize; and the scripts for three movies: La Palmira – Ul Film (“Palmira – The Movie”), Complotto nel Mendrisiotto (“The Mendrisio Conspiracy”), and Grand Hotel Stella Alpina (“Grand Hotel Edelweiss”).
Bernasconi is a versatile artist and a tireless inventor of ideas and projects. His main aim is to touch his audience’s hearts with fresh suggestions, while making them laugh.
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