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Lux

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Original Language: Italian | 250 pp | November 2018

2 Seas Represents: Dutch rights

Shortlisted for the Premio Strega 2019

Winner of the third edition of the Neri Pozza National Literature Prize

LITERARY FICTION

“A splendid, layered novel, full of labyrinthine paths, secret trails, suggestions, symbolisms. LUX is a novel that reflects Marangoni’s Proustian studies, but at the same time moves away from them with skilfull lightness, leading the narration to a final where writing wins over everything.”

“Sun, sea, wind, the beauty of the small things, a character called Agave. A crystal clear, original, new literary voice.”

“An authentic novel, unconventional in comparison to Italian literature we are used to. A remarkable and intelligent book with an intriguing and sophisticated tone, winner of the Neri Pozza Literary Prize.”

“A truly convincing debut novel: refined and vintage writing, in a very accurate plot.”

Thomas G. Edwards is thirty years old, living in London, stuck in a relationship that is going nowhere. He is a restless character despite his indolence, and has just inherited, from his Italian family, a piece of land on a tiny island in the South of Italy.

The plot has a freshwater spring, an inactive volcano, eighteen dwarf baobab trees, and a dilapidated guesthouse: the Hotel Zelda, a shabby building inhabited by bizarre characters, some of them permanent residents, others passing through for who knows how long.

The Hotel Zelda is home to Bembo, the handyman, a “wild creature with an unimaginable past”; Gero Rutirò, the caretaker perpetually wearing a dressing gown; long-time client William Flannery, a writer taking a “break from himself”; Olivia Knot, an unfathomable biologist from Trieste; and Agave, a prostitute who has a mysterious past.

Thomas arrives on the island with the sole purpose of selling the property and getting back to his life, but the surreal atmosphere of that place, the light that brings objects and people to life, the weirdness of its inhabitants, the mysterious charm of the hotel, and an almost miraculous unforeseen event will force him to change his plans.

Lux is a cleverly constructed novel on how easily shadows and torment can dissolve in one fateful, unexpected night. A story of lost loves, memories and escapes. Eleonora Marangoni’s sophisticated prose gifts an irresistible comedy of characters, and constructs a perhaps unattainable elsewhere in which we all would like to live.

Eleonora Marangoni (Rome, 1983). She graduated in Paris, in Comparative Literature and has lived in Milan since 2014. She writes for several newspapers. She has published, in France in 2013, the illustrated novel Une Demoiselle, and in 2011 the essay Proust et la peinture italienne, both for éditions Michel de Maule. In Italy in 2014 she published the essay Proust, I colori del tempo.