Nominated by:

Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Roma, Italy

Publisher of nominated edition:

Published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, USA


Melania G. Mazzucco      

Translated from the Italian by Virginia Jewiss

2016 Longlist

A moving but unsentimental examination of one woman’s life as she navigates life after war.

It’s Christmas Eve and twenty-seven-year-old Manuela Paris is returning home to a seaside town outside Rome. Years ago, she left to become a soldier. Then, Manuela was fleeing an unhappy, rebellious adolescence; with anger, determination, and sacrifice she painstakingly built the life she dreamed of as a platoon commander in the Afghan desert.

Now, she’s fleeing something else entirely: the memory of a bloody attack that left her seriously injured. Her wounds have plunged her into in a very different and no less insidious war: against flashbacks, disillusionment, pain, and victimhood.

Numb and adrift, she is startled to life by an encounter with a mysterious stranger, a man without a past who is, like her, suspended in his own private limbo of expectation and hope. Their relationship–confusing, invigorating–forces her to confront her past and the secrets she, and those closest to her, are hiding.

(from publisher)

About the Author

Melania G. Mazzucco has written nine novels, including Vita, which was awarded the prestigious Strega Prize and named a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. For Limbo, she was awarded the Premio Elsa Morante and the Premio Bottari Lattes Grinzane. Her many other honors include receiving the Viareggio Tobino Literary Award in 2011 (as writer of the year), the Premio Vittorio De Sica for fiction in 2012 and the Premio Ignazio Silone in 2013. She lives in Rome, Italy.

About the Translator

Virginia Jewiss received her Ph.D. in Italian literature from Yale University, where she is currently Lecturer in the Humanities. Her translations include Roberto Saviano’s Gomorrah and screenplays by Paolo Sorrentino, Matteo Garrone, and Gabriele Salvatores.

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