Nominated by:

Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Roma, Italy

Publisher of nominated edition:

Archipelago Books, USA

Distant Light

Antonio Moresco      

Translated from the Italian by Richard Dixon

2018 Shortist!

Judges’ comments

A man living completely alone in an abandoned mountain village sees a light far in the distance on the other side of the valley, and treks over to find out who or what it is. There, in a house in the middle of the forest, he finds a young boy, a fey strange creature, and gradually wins his trust. This is a literally haunting story in which the past and the present merge into the surreal, yet the natural scenery and the passing of the seasons are evoked with complete realism. A gorgeously lush translation that does justice to the lyricism of the original.

About the book

A man lives in total solitude in an abandoned mountain village. But a mystery disturbs his isolation: each night at the same hour a distant light appears on the far side of the valley. What is it? Someone in another deserted village? A forgotten street lamp? An alien being? Finally the man is driven to discover its source. There he finds a young boy who also lives alone in a house in the midst of the forest. But who really is this child? The answer at the secret heart of this novel is both uncanny and profoundly touching. Antonio Moresco’s work is a moving meditation on life and the universe we inhabit. Moresco reflects on the solitude and pain of existence, but also on what man shares with all around him, living and dead.

About the author

Antonio Moresco was born in Mantua and lives in Milan. He published his first collection of short stories, Clandestinità, at the age of forty-six. He has gone on to publish several more books, among them the short novel La cipolla (The Onion), the autobiographical Lettere a nessuno (Letters to No One) and his 500-page novel Gli esordi (The Beginning). Moresco has created controversy with his critiques of experimentalism, postmodernism, and members of the cannon such as Italo Calvino.

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