Andrea Bajani

Portrait Andrea Bajani
© Hartwig Klappert

Andrea Bajani was born in 1975. He achieved international success with the pithy novel »Cordiali Saluti« (2005; tr: Best Regards, 2010), which can be read as an ironic commentary on the rigorous ethos of rationalisation in a large corporation. Bajani has often received critical acclaim for his sensitive and at the same time unsentimental tone. This was true of his two multi-prizewinning novels »Se consideri le colpe« (2007; tr: If You Consider the Faults, 2010) and »Ogni promessa« (2010; tr: Every Promise, 2012), which have in common their motif – search for clues that reaches back to a family past. Bajani fictionally portrayed his friendship with the author Antonio Tabucchi, who died in 2012, in the scenically structured novel »Mi riconosci« (2013; tr: You Recognize Me, 2014). Some notable encounters between the two authors are preserved in the novel in episodes in which individual memories and literary imagination are dealt with on equal terms in a similar way to Tabucchi’s work. As such, Bajani delivered both a fitting homage and a nuanced portrait of their relationship, which was in no way affected by their generation gap, but rather characterised by an untiring curiosity. Bajani’s most recent work »La vita non è in ordine alfabetico« (2014; tr: Life is not in Alphabetical Order) is a collection of 38 alphabetically arranged short stories. Each of these miniatures, which circle equally around incisive points both of an everyday and an existential nature are testimony to the manifold possibilities that language provides to create order where there apparently is none. Drawing on this creative potential, Bajani sounds out narratively the meaning and force of individual words.In addition to his literary work Bajani is also a reporter, critic and columnist for the daily newspapers »La Repubblica«, »Il Sole 24 Ore«, »Libération« and works for the literary magazine »Lo Straniero«. He also writes texts for theatre and radio and translates from French and English. In 2008 he was awarded the Premio Mondello, the Premio Recanati and the Premio Brancati and, in 2011, the tradition-steeped Premio Bagutta. Bajani lives in Berlin.