Fabio Genovesi was born in Forte dei Marmi in 1974 and still lives there.
He has published the essay Morte dei Marmi for Laterza, the novels Versilia Rock City, Esche Vive, Chi Manda le Onde (Premio Strega Giovani 2015), Il Mare dove non si tocca (2018), Rolando del camposanto (2019), Cadrò, sognando di volare (2020) for Mondadori, Tutti primi sul traguardo del mio cuore (2019) for Solferino and Il calamaro gigante (2021) for Feltrinelli.
In 2019 he edited the anthology Tales of Darkness for Einaudi.
He does not like biographies.
Il calamaro gigante
Of the sea we know nothing, however, we delude ourselves to the contrary: we spend a day at the beach and think we are looking at the sea, instead we see only “its peel, its salty, shimmering skin.”
Perhaps it is because just below is a life so different and mind-blowing that it seems impossible to us. A young boy learns this to his cost when he has to draw his favorite animal at school, but he takes on the laughter, pens and pencils of the whole class, because out of so many beautiful animals in the world he chose the giant squid, “which does not exist.” Instead the giant squid does exist, however, it is too big and strange for our tired way of looking at reality, in fact until yesterday we considered it only a story. But how do you put “only” in front of stories? Stories are everything, they are what brought us into the world and give meaning to our journey. So let us set out, on this magnificent drifting crossing, by land and especially by sea, chasing dreams, passions, the impossible. Together with those who to the call of the giant squid and the wonder have always answered, against everything and everyone: fishermen from the Antilles and priests from Emilia Romagna, English explorers and garbage collectors from Pontedera, grandmothers who talk to their dead husbands at dinner, girls who stop walking in order not to step on ants, children who lower themselves into a hole where a treasure has been waiting for them for fifteen thousand years. Pursuing their huge and impetuous dream, they drew equally incredible and exciting stories that are their lives, are ours.
Adventures that are minimal and resounding, everyday and unique: together they form a shimmering sea that – like the real sea – is big and full of wonders. Aboard these pages we sail to the surprising, amusing, moving discovery of the wonders of Nature and thus of ourselves, for the most incredible story is precisely reality.
How much incredible, absurd wonder exists there underwater, but also above, and all around. Knowing it scares and sweeps us off our feet, but we should be happy: part of that boundless wonder is us.
Cadrò, sognando di volare
You know when the radio plays the song you always listened to in high school, and you imagined yourself in the future, free and happy to do whatever you wanted … well, if hearing it makes your heart clench and you eventually have to change the station, it means that in that future something didn’t go the way you dreamed.
So it is for Fabio, who is twenty-four years old and studying law. The subject does not excite him at all, but a series of circumstances led him there, and he did not have the strength to oppose it. So he proceeds wearily, until – this is 1998 – to avoid compulsory military service he is sent to a mountaintop hospice for priests. Here the warden is a rough and moody 80-year-old former missionary who does not leave his room because he no longer cares about anything, and he treats everyone badly except Gina, a girl who thinks she is a chicken.
Different as they are, something Fabio and Don Basagni have in common: a passion for cycling. So they start watching the Giro d’Italia together, and find in Marco Pantani the embodiment of a dream. A courageous, troubled and lonely man, who faces colossal champions whose strength lies in prudence and control of the race. Pantani, on the other hand, does not make so many calculations; he listens to his instincts and makes immense efforts that allow him to move the boundary, “the terrible boundary between the possible and the impossible, between what we would like to do and what can be done.” Thanks to this marvelous madness, Fabio and Don Basagni will find buried audacity within themselves, and they will question the solid and reliable existence they had become accustomed to enduring.
More inspired than ever, Fabio Genovesi returns to make us dream with his unique writing, which sweeps us away and moves us like a rushing wave, makes us move, smile and then laugh until tears. And he tells us what it means to believe in something. Anything at all. Let it be magical, however, and ignite us, propelling us forward or anywhere, with no plans or directions already mapped out. We may fall, yes, but when the song of our adolescence comes on the radio then, singing it at the top of our lungs with the windows down, we will surely fly.
I racconti delle tenebre
Who does not know fear? Every age has its nightmares, but every nightmare – for those who experience it – is the most frightening of all. Terror stories are whispered in the dark, there where imagination reigns unquestioned with all its mysteries. That is why Fabio Genovesi has stepped into the most fertile period for horror literature – when electric light did not yet threaten the power of darkness – and has emerged with seventeen stories to read with breath caught in your throat. This anthology will appeal to anyone who, at least once in their life, has been afraid to discover what lurks in the dark. Outside and inside themselves.
Humans have always entertained an unbroken discourse with the chill. Whether we shun it or chase it, whether we court it or ignore it, fear is part of us. And is there a stronger fear than that of darkness? Only when day gives way to night can a scarecrow planted in a field suddenly come to life, a simple train ride turn into an encounter with the devil, and a voice coming from a boat in the middle of the Pacific send a quiver down the listener’s spine… Artificial light has chased the world of darkness into deserted alleys, deep into the attics and the most hidden cellars of our existence. Chasing it away as we do the wolf, when it tries to invade spaces that were actually always its own. It has happened as with the stars: the colossal signs of cities shine so brightly that they cover and hide the celestial vault. Yet the stars are still up there, no one could ever doubt their existence. Then it is possible that the same happens with the creatures of darkness: perhaps the light dazzles us so much that it hides their magical and mysterious world, which continues to dance around us, unseen. Certainly in this book – a nightmarish journey among authors who have made fright an art – there is room for ghosts, vampires, ghastly monsters and enchanting crea-tures, dead people who return or who won’t go away. But also unhappy loves that last beyond the grave, curses that are unforgiving. From the masters of the genre – Poe, Lovecraft and Stoker – to authors less known to the Italian public, Fabio Genovesi takes the reader by the hand and rushes him where he would never have ventured on his own. Stories that are truly scary, to be read aloud in the long hours after dark, with the dark ocean of darkness teeming with mystery all around.
Rolando del camposanto
Rolando lives in the cemetery, along with his uncle who is a caretaker. He leaves it only to go to school, where his classmates avoid him, and he has no friends except for a blackbird named Cip. When cousins Marika and Mirko Gini appear among the gravestones one day, Rolando finds two friends his own age. But the Gini cousins are ghosts and soon disappear forever in the Big Hole. To save them , Rolando must go deep into the Puppet Mountain, all the way to the black darkness, to find the Red Thing by midnight the next day, when it will also be his birthday. The journey together with Cip through the wilderness turns into a resounding feat, in the company of unforgettable characters: a lurching robivecchi, a cross-eyed hunter, an elegant and refined female boar, and a wild child who calls herself Tiger and lives in the woods.
Tutti primi sul traguardo del mio cuore
For thousands of kilometers, by car, on foot, on ferries, buses and cable cars, a caravan full of color tries to keep up with the furious pace set by the cyclists who in three weeks tour all of Italy, from the Amalfi coast to the rugged contours of Vajont.
Also part of it is a writer, who since childhood has dreamed of participating in the Giro d’Italia and throws himself into the adventure with absolute enthusiasm, ready to be inflamed by the epic that cycling has always unleashed. But he soon discovers that the tenacity and passion of the riders are only part of the story. For it is precisely everything that happens around the race that will make the journey resounding.
Along the back roads, in the wild or cemented heart of the Italian province, you are likely to get lost at every fork in the road as you encounter jubilant crowds and clamorous characters, villages as crazy as the people who inhabit them, aldermen dedicated to promoting singing daughters, break-dancing firemen, mature piano-bar musicians trying to squeeze in castings reserved for teenagers, obscure poets on the hunt for publishers… the thousand impossible follies that only real life can give us.
To the burning passion for cycling – a great metaphor for the toil and glory hidden at every turn of life – Fabio Genovesi combines his unparalleled humor, making this book, now reissued in a new edition, the chronicle of an extraordinary sporting feat and at the same time the jarring and memorable tale of our country, its weaknesses and its great dreams.
Il mare dove non si tocca
The Sea Where You Don’t Touch is read in one breath and stays forever in the heart, along with the unique voice of the narrator, a boy with a head full of questions and a heart overflowing with stories. Fabio is six years old, two parents, and nine grandparents. Nine, because he is the only child in the Mancini family, and his real grandfather’s many siblings-lonely, impetuous, dangerously eccentric men-are competing to take him hunting, fishing, and involving him in a thousand other very unchildlike activities. So Fabio grows up without hanging out with his peers, and the first day of school will be a concentration of shocking surprises: his classmates have many toys and very few grandparents, and they amuse each other with strange games with absurd names – hide-and-seek, flag-stealing, fly-tipping. And finally, the most alarming discovery of all, a terrible curse hangs over his family: all males who reach forty without marrying go mad. His grandparents-uncles are there to witness this. Fortunately, beside him are also a taciturn but loving father, mother, grandmother, and a very wise little girl who goes around dressed as a ladybug. A chaotic family that seems invincible, until something totally unexpected happens and upsets every balance. Day after day, from elementary school through middle school, Fabio will seek the ever precarious balance between a private world populated with stories, full of adventure and animated with imagination, and the world out there, confined in a thousand oppressive rules and dominated by the law of the strongest. Amid stumbles, sudden loves and extraordinary encounters, in a rocambulistic, poetic and wacky journey of formation, Fabio will understand that oddities are our inexhaustible treasure of uniqueness, and will come to discover his own vocation as a storyteller hopelessly in love with life.
For your fish no one takes it from you.
It swims oddly, it swims randomly, but here it comes to you.
After the success of Chi manda le onde, which won the 2015 Strega Giovani Prize, Fabio Genovesi returns with a bright and colorful, funny and poetic novel, capable of alternating registers with extraordinary effectiveness and moving us from laughter to emotion in an instant.