The Disappearance of Anna
Original title: La fuga di Anna
Mattia Corrente is among the most acclaimed debut of the year and is also one of the youngest authors to be chosen by the iconic Sicilian publishing house. Severino’s wandering on the roads of Sicily is not only a search for his wife, is an investigation of the past, a dive into memories, a scrutiny of one’s actions and choices. A mature writing, a true to life novel. — Donatella Tretjak, Il Piccolo
Corrente’s novel is also a book about maternity, brilliantly narrated through the lost wandering of a male character that finds itself alone in discovering women’s secrets, plans, as they manage that atrocious change from being daughters to being mothers while they are still processing their endless love for their fathers. When the reading is over the feeling is that the story of Anna and Severino is like a water surface to look into to find out if you are navigating a sea, a lake or a pond. — Eleonora Lombardo, la Repubblica
In Corrente’s writing the will of thinking about the bond between freedom and violence and between happiness and unhappiness of others is lucid. But knowing and accepting this brutal truth needs a lifelong experience. — Mohamed Maalel, Giornale di Sicilia
There is something deeper and more radical to find in this psychological novel. The act of leaving is made of many different nuances. — Gaia Manzini, Il Foglio
The truth does not always set you free.
Each truth inherently contains violence, each abandonment a wound that will not heal, each choice that makes us happy will end up hurting someone else.
The wife, after a lifetime spent beside her husband one day goes out and just disappears.
One year later he decides to leave everything behind, Stromboli, the island where they lived, all their things, all their habits, he is ready to go find her. Anna, the old Severino and his hope of bringing her back home.
This is how begins a trip down memories lived and left all around Sicily that becomes not only an investigation on his past but also a test of his actions, his choices and a confrontation with long evaded, devastating, merciless truths. It is facing ghosts, men and women that could have been someone else if only traitors or violators did not surround them.
In this story of voices, point of views and ambiguities emerging page after page, Anna lives despite her absence. In Severino’s look their past takes shape only to be understood together along with the personal story of a woman that unwillingly obeyed to orders, the first of which was her mother’s: a woman only purpose in life is to be a husband’s wife, a mother’s child. This was her destiny but towards the end, when she had become all that she needed to become Anna looked forward and disappeared.
At last, she turned into the person her father wanted her to be when she was a little girl: free. A freedom that means chaos because what the novel is trying to say through its characters and its writing is that each truth inherently contains violence, each abandonment a wound that will not heal, each choice that makes us happy will end up hurting someone else. But the understanding and the acceptance of this truth is a lifelong experience.
It tells a truth about freedom I did not know about yet: the same delusion imprisons who choses freedom at the expense of others and who does not choose it to keep other safe. It tells the story of becoming a mother without having maternal instinct, where a mother gives birth to a son because the weight of procreation weighs over her destiny. It tells the story of chasing the ones you love, making promises for the ones you love and keeping them even at the cost of losing oneself. — Mattia Corrente
- Initial print run: 10,000 copies + 2nd reprint of 3,000
- English sample available