DAVIDE ENIA is a playwright, actor, theatre director and novelist. His shows are “Italia-Brasile 3 a 2” (2002), “Scanna” (2003), “maggio ’43” (2004), “I capitoli dell’infanzia” (2007), “L’abisso” (2018). Davide Enia has been awarded the Tondelli Prize at the Riccione Prize (2003), Special Ubu Prize (2003), Hystrio Prize (2005), E.T.I. Prize (2005), Vittorio Mezzogiorno Prize (2006), Gassman Prize (2006). In 2017 he was stage director of Mozart’s opera “L’oca del Cairo”, at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo.
Davide Enia wrote and performed the radio drama “Rembò” (2006) for RaiRadio2. In 2012 he published his first novel, “Così in Terra” (Baldini & Castoldi Dalai), translated and published worldwide, and awarded in France in 2016 the Prix du Premier Roman Etranger and the Prix Brignoles as best foreign novel of the year. Così in terra is republished by Sellerio in 2023.
His second novel “Appunti per un naufragio” (Sellerio, 2017) has been published in France, USA, Germany, Spain and awarded the Mondello International Literary Prize (2018). The novel inspired the show “L’Abisso” (2018), Hystrio Twister prize for best show of the year, Le Maschere del Teatro prize for Best monologue interpreter, Ubu prize for New Italian text or dramaturgical writing.
Così in terra
Davidù grew up in Palermo in a family of boxers, cared for by his mother Zina, grandmother Provvidenza, grandfather Rosario, and uncle Umbertino. His father, who died before he was born, was known as il Paladino, a spectacle in the ring, elegant, composed, precise, agile, with a suit of armor between himself and the world to protect him in fights as much as in life.
He spends his days in a 1980s dirty and violent Palermo, where the Mafia kills in the streets and you have to learn to fend for yourself and defend yourself, otherwise you end up like Gerruso, the little boy forced to suffer the arrogance of the most overbearing. Fights and shootings alternate with tender moments: his love for Nina and the tales of grandma Provvidenza’s past. At only nine years old, Davide begins his journey as a boxer. The Poet they call him, followed by master Franco in the gymnasium of his uncle Umbertino, a boxer also of deadly strength, capable of physical and verbal excesses, yet hilarious and of a deep, almost sweet humanity that contrasts with his impetuosity. He is the guardian of his grandson’s history and, together with his grandparents, the keeper of the family memories that run through the events of Palermo and Italy: from the war in Africa fought by his grandfather Rosario, to the bombs that gutted the city in the years of World War II and then to the more recent ones of the Mafia massacres of ’92 that changed its face forever.
From family history to universal history, with a narrative thread that runs backward and forward in time, as well as the boxer’s dance in the ring, a novel that can be read in one breath capable of touching the most intimate chords and moving to smiles as well as to tears, while dosing, in a language composed and disjointed at the same time, comic and tragic, crude realism and dreamlike abstraction.
Appunti per un naufragio
“Notes on a Shipwreck” is a novel which in fact describes several different shipwrecks: that of the people who, ploughing across the surface of death, cross the Mediterranean Sea in unimaginable conditions; that of the people who pick them up, at the frontier of an era and a continent; that of the author himself, in his relationship with his father and with the discovery of what really happens on sea and land; and that of words, which plunge down into the depths in an attempt to convey the complexity of the present. “Notes on a Shipwreck” tells the true story of several people united by direct experience of the fragility of life, which comes like a revelation, making them re-evaluate their lives and carrying them towards a new point of arrival: that of listening.