Thursday, September 14, 2017

Born On This Day -- Writer Pier Vittorio Tondelli

Pier Vittorio Tondelli was an Italian writer who wrote a small but influential body of work. He was born in Correggio, Italy, on this day in 1955, and died in nearby Reggio Emilia of AIDS in 1991 at age 36. Tondelli enjoyed modest success as a writer but often encountered trouble with censors for his use of homosexual themes in his works.

His novel, Separate Rooms, was the first to appear in English. From the New York Times Book Review:

"The author's lyricism and low-key humor successfully contend with the weight of an immense melancholy. And despite its casual texture, Tondelli's prose never deviates far from the 'seam of that other reality that we call art'."

Separate Rooms is about Leo, an Italian writer in his 30s. Thomas, his German lover, is dead. On a plane to Munich, Thomas' home town, Leo slips into a reverie of their meeting and life in Paris, nights in Thomas' flat in Montmartre and a desperate, drug-induced flight through the forests of northern France. Tondelli's last book is a powerful novel of the strength of love and the trauma of death.

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