The novelist, poet and dramatist Giacomo Sartori was born in 1958 in Trento in the Alpine northeast of Italy near the Austrian border. He lives in Paris. An agronomist, he is a soil specialist whose unusual day job (unusual for a writer) has shaped a distinctive concrete and poetic literary style. A prolific and sophisticated writer of fiction with a dozen volumes to his credit, Sartori took as his subject in his early novels Tritolo (TNT) and Sacrificio (Sacrifice) the stifling provincial atmosphere of the valleys of his native region and the twisted lives of its most vulnerable inhabitants. A recent novel Rogo (At the Stake), also set in the region, is written in the voices of three women from different historical periods who commit infanticide. The autofiction Anatomia della battaglia (The Anatomy of the Battle) about a young man’s effort to come to terms with and define his manhood against the model of his father, a committed Fascist, and the historical novel Cielo nero (Black Heavens), deal with fascism and its dark, persistent allure. Sartori’s shorter fiction includes the book of interrelated absurdist stories Autismi (Autisms, 2010) written in the voice of a person struggling to cope with the bizarre, baffling customs and expectations that all around him seem to share. The black humor and pessimism are reminiscent of Samuel Beckett. Sartori has also published poems and plays, and he has won several Italian literary prizes. Three of his novels have been translated into French. Several stories from Autismi appeared in my? English ?translation in Massachusetts Review last year. An excerpt from L’Anatomia della battaglia, translated by Frederika Randall, appeared in The Arkansas International no 2.
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