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2009 European literary prize “Giustino Ferri – David Herbert Lawrence”

Maria Rosaria Valentini
Di armadilli e charango…
15×21 cm, 112 pp
ISBN 978-88-87469-60-8

Maria Rosaria Valentini
Of armadillos and charangos…

Maria Rosaria Valentini’s work lasted for several years. When an old woman from the south told Valentini the story of her own grandmother – who was kidnapped by brigands –, she was inspired to write a collection of stories. The collection has grown far beyond expectations; it tells the life and times of many other women who had to leave everything behind and move elsewhere. This book revolves around the idea of moving, giving a clear, straightforward report of several women’s stories, some of them very touching. Let us mention the story of a girl from the south – an elder sister who had to take care of four younger brothers after their parents died in an explosion; and the story of the cruelty and torture that the South American dictatorship inflicted upon so many women. All the women in this book move: they pursue a better life away from cruel oblivion.
Simona Sala, Azione n. 52/2008

From the author’s Preface:
In writing the recollection of these events – from the times of the brigandage to the Rwandan civil war – I had no will to interpret them or to judge anyone.
They are just ordinary stories, not different from many others. And yet I felt that I had to write about them, and to go with their flow.

Maria Rosaria Valentini was born in San Biagio Saracinisco, Italy, in 1963. She graduated in German studies at La Sapienza University of Rome. In 1989, thanks to a scholarship in Art history, she became a resident at the University of Berne. In 1995 she published Un’altra storia da raccontare (“Another story to tell”), a collection of children’s stories.
She has published several books: the short story Quattro mele annurche (“Four anurks”), the collection Di armadilli e charango… (“Of armadillos and charangos…”) and the short novel Antonia – all for the publishing house Gabriele Capelli Editore.
In Italy, she has published the novels Mimose a Dicembre (“December mimosas”, 2013, published by Keller) and Magnifica (2016, published by Sellerio).
In 2003 the Schiller Foundation voted her collection of poems Sassi muschiati (“Moss-grown rocks”) book of the year.
In 2009 Di armadilli e charango… was awarded the European literary prize “Giustino Ferri – David Herbert Lawrence”.

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