Sandro Veronesi

Portrait Sandro Veronesi
© Ilaria Magliocchetti Lombi/contrasto /laif

Italian writer Sandro Veronesi was born in Florence in 1959. In 1985 he graduated from the university there with a degree in Architecture.
In 1984, he published his first book, the poetry collection »Il cielo e il resto« (tr: The Sky and the Rest). He made his debut as a novelist in 1988 with the father-son story »Per dove parte questo treno allegro« (tr: Where Is This Happy Train Going). This was followed by »Gli sfiorati« (1990; tr: The Touched) and »Venite venite B-52« (1995; tr: Come on, Get on the B-52), in which Veronesi once again takes up the theme of family and which are inspired primarily by American literature, especially Thomas Pynchon. »La forza del passato« (2000; tr: The Power of the Past) also deals with a father-son relationship, but here the father exists only in memory, which the son unpacks to find out who he really was. The book won the Premio Campiello and the Premio Viareggio, was translated into fifteen languages, and was made into a film by Piergiorgio Gay. Finally, Veronesi won Italy’s most prestigious literary prize, the Premio Strega, for »Caos Calmo« (2005; Eng. »Quiet Chaos«, 2011). After the death of his partner, Pietro Paladini has to find a new meaning in life. Blaming himself for not having been there at the pivotal moment, he increasingly displays an exaggerated affection for the daughter they share. More and more, for those around him, he evolves from a curiosity to a person to whom people can tell about their needs. The novel was filmed with Nanni Moretti in the leading role and premiered at the Berlinale 2008. Veronese’s philosophical thriller »XY« (2010) is set in a snowy mountain village in which eleven bodies are found. The story follows a priest and a psychiatrist as they try to get to the bottom of the incomprehensible tragedy. »Terre rare« (2014; tr: Escape Routes) tells of contemporary Italy and how the life of a caring father and established businessman, Petro Paladini, is coming apart at the seams. With his latest novel, »Il Colibri« (2019; Eng. »The Hummingbird«, 2021), Veronesi was also awarded the Premio Strega. The novel creates a polyphonic family saga in which Veronesi tells in a psychologically sophisticated way of the emotionally stirring and troubled life of a sensitive man. The Italian newspaper »Corriere della Sera« praised Veronesi by stating that »›The Hummingbird‹ is the most inspired novel written by one of our most inspired writers. This is everything Sandro […] It is a succession of increasingly electrifying airs. The vividness of each picture almost brings one to tears.«
Sandro Veronesi has also published essays and articles in various newspapers and magazines. He is co-founder of the authors’ publishing house Fandango Libri, where he is chief editor in charge of American literature, and of the web station Radiogas. He lives in Rome.