Cinzia Leone is a journalist, writer of novels and graphic novels. She collaborates with “Corriere della Sera”, “L’Espresso” and “Il Foglio”.
She has published two novels with Bompiani, Liberabile and Cellophane, one with Mondadori, Ti rubo la vita (2019), and five graphic novels with Rizzoli.
She lives, writes and illustrates in Rome.
Her latest novel is Vieni tu, giorno, nella notte (Mondadori, 2023).
Vieni tu, giorno, nella notte
A suicide bomber detonates himself at a club in Tel Aviv. A young man dies in the massacre; his name is Ariel Anav, he is Italian and wears the uniform of the Israeli Army. Upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, the parents, Micòl and Daniel, are told that they will have to wait to get their son’s body back: he and the suicide bomber were so close that the deflagration mixed their remains.
How do you call someone who is orphaned by a son? The word does not exist. Sons grow up next to us but we know only a fraction of them; the rest is mystery. With sons there are no calculations, sons are lost and found, but Micòl can no longer find her own. Looking for Arièl’s last days, her mother discovers his secrets: a love that overrides walls and a friendship that can overturn destiny. Unexpected passions and mysterious fragilities, wounds that heal only by sinking the blade. Along with her, with regret and anger, with pride and atrocious nostalgia, her father, grandmother, lover and friend also face grief. Each has his Ariel in his head and each wants to chase him where he can no longer be reached. All will manage to patch up the past and find themselves. Death calls for death, but life demands life, and at the score written by fate Micòl will discover that she can change the ending. People do not get lost, we think we have lost them.
Ti rubo la vita
Jews of necessity, Jews on the run, or half-Jews: the three central characters pursue each other from Jaffa to Djerba, from Alexandria to Basel, and from Miami to Rome, among secrets and deceptions, over a period of half a century.
Everyone, at least once, has wanted to change their destiny, to escape from themselves and their mistakes. Everyone has investigated their family’s past and eventually discovered secrets. Freedom gained at great effort and at the price of lies, some major, some minor, may not be enough to make you happy. Better to thave faith in a contract. A perfect contract.
That’s how it is for Ibrahim, Giuditta and Esther, the main characters of the novel, who all struggle with the problem of identity: denied, discovered and regained. They belong to two families, and three generations, but their paths eventually cross in a surprise ending. Palestine, 1936. Ibrahim, a Muslim Turk, becomes a Marrano in reverse, stealing the life of Avrahàm Azoulay, a Jewish cotton trader, the victim of a pogrom, with whom he has just made a contract which will change his life. Becoming a Jew in the wrong year, 1936, will force him to betray himself and his identity.
Ancona. 1938. Giuditta learns what it means to be a Jew when the Fascists rob her of her father and expel her from school. She discovers that as a result she can be sold and bought and that she must learn to hide and flee. Rome 1991. Esther, the daughter of a Jewish mother and a Christian father, disappointed with men, accepts the rigid clauses of a blind marriage with a handsome, mysterious suitor who is obsessed with the idea of drawing up a perfect a perfect marriage contract. But no contract is perfect…