In 1942, Elio Vittorini managed to circumvent the Fascist censors and publish Americana, a landmark anthology of thirty-three American authors. The aim of this massive project – over a thousand pages with translations into Italian carried out by ten significant literary figures of the time, including Alberto Moravia, Cesare Pavese, and Nobel Laureate poet Eugenio Montale – was to introduce iconic American voices to Italian readers. In assembling her substantial collection of forty Italian short stories, Jhumpa Lahiri set herself the same objective but in reverse: to introduce Italian authors to American readers. Lahiri declares Vittorini was her ‘guiding light’, not only for the general design of the work but also ‘in writing the brief author biographies – intended as partial sketches and not definitive renderings – that preface each story’.
- Short Stories
- Jhumpa Lahiri
- Rita Wilson
- Penguin Classics
- Monash contributor
- Victoria University Press
Rita Wilson is Professor in Translation Studies in the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics at Monash University. She has long-standing research interests in Italian contemporary literature and transcultural narrative practices. Most recently, she has published on identity and culture in migratory contexts, on practices of self-translation and on narratives of mobility and place-making.
From the New Issue
Daddy Cool: Finding my father, the singer who swapped Hollywood fame for home in Australia by Darleen BungeyReviewed by Tali Lavi
CommentaryReviewed by Robert Wood