Demonstrating a wide range of narrative strategies, the stories in this collection are set in different times and places, from darkly Gothic medieval castles and mist-covered wastelands to modern European cities like Athens, Barcelona, Budapest, Rome, Venice, Dusseldorf and Valletta. The author weaves an intricate tapestry of characters from all walks of life who seem to be writing their own plot or watching a filmed version of it as it unfolds. From the ecologically inspired The Tree to the politically resonant Straight to the Point, these stories explore a wide spectrum of themes and situations in a language that is both poetic and powerful.
As Edith Grossman points out in Why Translation Matters (2010) there is no more detailed reading an author can hope for than that of a translator. My task, as I set it out, was to make the reader of this English version recognise Joe Friggieri’s voice as it comes through, thoroughly re-written in another language.