The Foundation recommends
Books selected for you
- 25 January 2023 Maus One of the most beautiful stories ever told about the Holocaust. Art Spiegelman begins by narrating the life of his father, Vladek, a Polish Jew who escaped imprisonment ... +
- 18 January 2023 Paper factories An anthology that retraces the history of Italian industrial literature, from the 1930s – a period when the literary genre acquired its own features and coherency – up ... +
- 10 January 2023 Ufo 78 In Italy, the year 1978 immediately calls to mind the kidnapping of Aldo Moro, the events related to the Fourth Andreotti government, the “Years of lead” marked by ... +
- 06 December 2022 A Christmas Tale “He was filled with sudden joy. It wasn't yet clear to him what drove him to accomplish that feat, but he had nonetheless derived some meaning from it. ... +
One of the most beautiful stories ever told about the Holocaust. Art Spiegelman begins by narrating the life of his father, Vladek, a Polish Jew who escaped imprisonment in the concentration camps, and his conflictual relationship with him. Maus is not solely focused on the Shoah, however – above all, it's a story about people, the story of a relationship between father and son that also encompasses that tragic historical period, which is successfully described through real words and events that go straight to the heart of readers, also thanks to the great attention to detail paid to both illustrations and dialogues. The characters are represented like animals: the Nazis are cats who sadistically play with their prey, Jewish people are mice while Polish people are pigs. An allegorical representation that doesn't detract from the tragedy but impels us to reflect on the symbolic codes that had in fact been adopted by the Nazis, who referred to Jewish people as rats or parasites to be exterminated. The story unravels over two interwoven temporal planes: the author's present, when the father narrates, with difficulty, his life story to the son – a deeply painful memory and a heavy heritage for Art – and then the past, the years lived by Vlodek before and during the Second World War. Maus is a great literary work, as well as the first graphic novel to have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize – a must-read, so as to never forget.
An anthology that retraces the history of Italian industrial literature, from the 1930s – a period when the literary genre acquired its own features and coherency – up to the 2010s. From Leonardo Sinisgalli and Carlo Bernari to Silvia Avallone and Antonio Pennacchi, through Ottiero Ottieri, Italo Calvino, Primo Levi, Giovanni Testori, Carlo Emilio Gadda, Luciano Bianciardi, Elio Vittorini, Giorgio Caproni, Laura Pariani and several other great authors. The work is structured according to thematic chapters that narrate different historical periods and different protagonists in the world of factories: employees, entrepreneurs, labourers and intellectuals. The factory, narrated in these pieces selected by Giorgio Bigatti and Giuseppe Lupo, evolves over time from a grimy site, with its unpleasant smells of production materials and labourers' sweat, to a digital and technological factory, clean and sustainable, embodying a completely different concept of industrial production. A book that makes us rediscover a key feature of Italian identity – the factories that were at the heart of 20th-century industrial development – through a multi-voiced narration led by some of the greatest literary authors, a polyphonic exploration of their nuances and complexities, tensions and passions.
Fabbrica di carta. I libri che raccontano l’Italia industriale (Paper factories. The books that narrate industrial Italy)
Curated by Giorgio Bigatti and Giuseppe Lupo
In Italy, the year 1978 immediately calls to mind the kidnapping of Aldo Moro, the events related to the Fourth Andreotti government, the “Years of lead” marked by far-right and far-wing terrorism, the fight for women's rights, the succession of three popes on the papal throne, the rise of communes, the widespread drug problem. We find all this in Wu Ming's book, though depicted from an unusual perspective – 1978 was also the year in which the highest number of UFO sightings was recorded in Italy – and narrated by the different voices of a group of characters whose connection is the world of ufology: Martin Zanka, a communist author who writes books about “paleo cosmonautics”; his son Vincenzo, a former heroin addict living in a commune in the Lunigiana region; Milena Cravero, a young anthropologist researching ufologists; and then Jimmy Fruzzetti, Gheppio, Pardo and many others. The book's different narrative levels interweave at several points and revolve around a mystery that unravels within the setting of an uncanny, even unfathomable, mountain: the Quarzerone, an imaginary place where, for various reasons, the lives and investigations of the protagonists converge. The narrators develop an elegant interplay of fact and fiction, creating an atypical and enthralling murder mystery story that delves into the dark heart of Italy's past and reinterprets the history of those years through complex, and never obvious or stereotypical, viewpoints. The book is also interspersed with wonderful music, including that of Popol Vuh, Franco Battiato, the Deep Purple, the Area – the perfect soundtrack to accompany its reading.
A Christmas Tale
“He was filled with sudden joy. It wasn't yet clear to him what drove him to accomplish that feat, but he had nonetheless derived some meaning from it. He had faced is fear. Yet, at the beginning of every crossing he let go of the ballast in his soul, so that the wire became a path towards freedom.” A few weeks before Christmas the man, who used to be an extremely talented tightrope walker, decides to attempt one more walk on a wire stretched between a library's balcony and an abandoned church's bell tower. He's 67 years old, his body is a bit rusty but still extraordinarily sprightly. So, one cold morning at dawn... Here's Fiaba di Natale by Simona Baldelli, Sellerio, or, “the amazing journey of the Man in Mid-air”, a simple and only slightly sad story. During the crossing, as below him the whole town comes to a halt, the man engages with a police officer and a firefighter, who try to persuade him to get off the wire, as well as a priest, his doctor and, finally, his daughter. And there, between the wire and a rescue crane, their relationship resumes, with the memory of a shattered family and the future glimpsed in his young grandson, whom he had never met until then. Memories: “‘What are the stars?’ the little girl had asked him. ‘Dreams’ he had replied. ‘And we are in great need of them, because it's from dreams that everything is born.’” This is the message of the story: don't get lost in fear and keep on dreaming.
Fiaba di Natale (A Christmas Tale)
- 25 January 2023 Just one word Venice, 1938. Roberto is a child like any other, or so he always thought, until the people around him start pointing out that he's actually not like everyone ... +
- 18 January 2023 I am Persephone Kore's destiny had already been written. Her mother, Demeter, had decided that she would rule over nature, never fall in love and always be chaste. This is also ... +
- 11 January 2023 Blackwater. The complete saga Perdido (Alabama), 1919. The Caskey family, led by matriarch Mary-Love, owns several forests and sawmills. The world seems to be at their feet and they live an easy ... +
- 25 November 2022 Why you are special Which tools can we use to deal with everyday life? How do we know if someone can be trusted? How do we choose the things, or people, who ... +
Just one word
Venice, 1938. Roberto is a child like any other, or so he always thought, until the people around him start pointing out that he's actually not like everyone else, as he wears glasses. Shouldn't he attend a school that's only for children with glasses?
Set in an overwhelmingly beautiful Venice, amidst music and fragrances travelling from neighbourhood to neighbourhood and along the canals or in the narrow streets, the protagonists witness the rise of a propaganda campaign that begins by spreading false information (through radio and newspapers) about the "bespectacled category”, publicly scorning its members, up to having them expelled from school, banning them from parks and libraries, dismissing their parents from their jobs.
Through the transposition of such simple yet cruel mechanism, so similar to what was at the basis of the persecution and extermination of the Jewish people, Matteo Corradini narrates the hidden logic that led to the foundation and dissemination of racial laws – with a rather original take, as here the laws don't pertain to Jewish, but to “bespectacled”, people. “Just one word” is enough to change everything and, at the same time, “just one word” doesn't alter the essence of the message. Indeed, through these ingenious expedient, readers more easily identify with the notion of discrimination and the everyday presence of evil. We then follow the vicissitudes of the three protagonists once they've been declared “enemies of the country” and their parents.
Corradini tells us everything but with much sensitivity, and only lets us glimpse the abyss in which “the bespectacled” are about to plunge into. He stops just before the fall, as, in this book, what counts is “before” rather than ”after”: so as to always remember that all the evil in the world can start with just one word.
Solo una parola (Just one word)
by Matteo Corradini with illustrations by Sonia Cucculelli
I am Persephone
Kore's destiny had already been written. Her mother, Demeter, had decided that she would rule over nature, never fall in love and always be chaste. This is also what Kore wants, or so she believes until, while walking through the fields at the foot of the Etna, she's kidnapped by Hades, lord of the Underworld, who wants to make her his queen.
Thrown into a strange and gloomy world, Kore takes on the name Persephone, but won't be able to neither set aside her previous life nor forget the feeling of the sun on her skin. Yet, Hades gives her free choice and her certainties begin to waver. Which destiny does she really want for herself? To which world does she truly belong?
A timeless protagonist in search of her own voice – like all of us – Coluzzi's Persephone journeys, first of all, through her own inner darkness. A true coming-of-age novel where the character follows a non-linear yet continuous evolution (the “child” who at first thinks she knows it all attains self-awareness and free agency), as well as a reinterpretation of the myth through the eyes of Hades's sweet goddess.
This is a book for teenagers and, just like them, the protagonist also refuses to submit to an ordained destiny and tries to break free from the narration that others impose on her, ignoring all the rules and building her own world.
Etna, the Elysian Fields, the Underworld. The surrounding world appears shaded, in order to leave sufficient room for the protagonist's thoughts, within a fluid, flowing, intriguing and engaging narrative. The result? A Persephone who's not only a girl and goddess, but also a queen ruling over subjects for whom she suffers and cares. Readers will hear new stories from many of them, while childhood memories will bring back others.
Io sono Persefone (I am Persephone)
by Daniele Coluzzi
Blackwater. The complete saga
Perdido (Alabama), 1919. The Caskey family, led by matriarch Mary-Love, owns several forests and sawmills. The world seems to be at their feet and they live an easy life, without any worries, until the river's black water engulfs the town and a woman, Elionor Dammert, is rescued from the flood. Alluring, determined to worm her way into their family, Elionor will end up turning the lives of Mary-Love and her devoted son Oscar upside down, as well as those of the entire community.
Ghosts and metamorphosis, intrigue and disaster. In perfect harmony with the author's style (McDowell also wrote Beetlejuice and The nightmare before Christmas), Blackwater takes the shape of a horror family saga in six volumes. Generously drawing from the tradition of his native land, Alabama, deeply steeped in occult and supernatural, Michael McDowell retraces American history from the 1920s to the 1960s. The outcome is an intriguing, enigmatic story, which the volumes' covers perfectly illustrate.
Very much loved abroad (Stephen King himself is a fan), the Blackwater saga has recently regained interest amongst readers, especially in France, so much so that it's been acquired for the making of a television series. The books are also being released in unusual fashion: starting from 17 January, the sequels of The flood (The levee, The house, The war, The Fortune and Rain) will be available in bookshops every two weeks – readers will discover the dark evil that lies in Perdido and, as it always happens, in ourselves.
Blackwater. La saga (Blackwater. The complete saga)
by Michael McDowell
Neri Pozza, 2023
Why you are special
Which tools can we use to deal with everyday life? How do we know if someone can be trusted? How do we choose the things, or people, who make us feel good? How do we manage rage, anxiety and worries?
Alberto Pellai and Barbara Tamborini accompany their readers – young or older – through the pages of a practical path for the enhancement of emotional abilities and life skills, addressing in each chapter some of the key points necessary to learn how to get to know one's self, evolve and create a new version of oneself.
Anxiety, trust, rage, solidarity, self-esteem and empowerment are explored through stories, tests, games, meditations and advice on how to question oneself, deal with others and find some balance, both in mind and heart. A book that will never lay “passively” in readers' hands but has to be opened and read as a guide on how to live, to do our best in all the challenges we encounter, train the mind for change and learn to navigate one's life and the challenges it presents us with in full awareness.
Perché sei speciale
Piccole attività, meditazioni, test per prenderti cura delle tue emozioni e sviluppare le life skills (Why you are special. Small activities, meditations, tests to take care of your emotions and develop your life skills)
by Alberto Pellai and Barbara Tamborini
From the world of books
- 26 January 2023 Holocaust Remembrance Day Every year, on 27 January, Holocaust Remembrance Day is commemorated, an anniversary instituted in 2005 by the United Nations in memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. The ... +
- 05 December 2022 2023 Campiello Junior Literary Prize Finalists Selection Ceremony Friday 16 December 2022 at 11 a.m. (Italian time), streaming live from the HQ, you will be able to watch the Campiello Junior Literary Prize's Finalists Selection Ceremony. ... +
- 02 December 2022 ‘Più libri più liberi’ Fair From 7 to 11 December, at the La Nuvola Convention Centre in Rome, Più libri più liberi is back, the International Fair for Small and Medium Publishers, promoted ... +
- 18 November 2022 Premio Biella The closing ceremony will be held on Saturday 19 November 2022, in Biella, at the Città Studi Auditorium, and will include the award of the winner of the ... +
Holocaust Remembrance Day
Every year, on 27 January, Holocaust Remembrance Day is commemorated, an anniversary instituted in 2005 by the United Nations in memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. The date was chosen to remember the day on which, in 1945, the Russian Army troops freed the Auschwitz concentration camp as they advanced towards Germany. In Italy, Holocaust Remembrance Day is commemorated in places connected to the deportation of Jewish people, such as Platform 21 at Milan Central station or at La Casa della Memoria e della Storia in Rome. (Photo: Getty Images)
2023 Campiello Junior Literary Prize Finalists Selection Ceremony
Friday 16 December 2022 at 11 a.m. (Italian time), streaming live from the HQ, you will be able to watch the Campiello Junior Literary Prize's Finalists Selection Ceremony. To watch the Ceremony on live stream click here, or follow the Campiello Literary Prize on social media and Fondazione Pirelli Facebook page. Further information on initiatives by the Campiello Junior Literary Prize can be found at www.fondazionepirelli.org and www.premiocampiello.org.
‘Più libri più liberi’ Fair
From 7 to 11 December, at the La Nuvola Convention Centre in Rome, Più libri più liberi is back, the International Fair for Small and Medium Publishers, promoted and organised by Associazione Italiana Editori (AIE - the Italian publishers association). The 2022 edition comprises 500 stands and over 600 events, with national and international guests such as Alessandro Baricco, Azar Nafisi, Michela Murgia, Kader Abdolah, Alessandro Barbero, Roberto Saviano, Chiara Valerio, Alberto Angela, Elodie Harper, Diego Bianchi, Zerocalcare, Ascanio Celestini and many others. Moreover, during the fair, the winners of the 2022 Strega Children's Literary Prize will be announced. To see the full programme click here.
The closing ceremony will be held on Saturday 19 November 2022, in Biella, at the Città Studi Auditorium, and will include the award of the winner of the 21st edition of the Premio Biella Letteratura e Industria, a literary prize dedicated to novels or essays able to capture ongoing economic and social transformation and explore the relationship between two seemingly unrelated worlds: the world of art and the world of industrial development. To find out more, click here.
- 09 February 2023 Fëdor Dostoevskij Fëdor Michajlovič Dostoevskij was born in Moscow on 11 November 1821 and died in Saint Petersburg on 9 February 1881. The great author represents, together with Tolstoij, the ... +
- 21 January 2023 George Orwell George Orwell, the pseudonym of Eric Arthur Blair, was born in Motihari, India, on 25 June 1903, and died in London on 21 January 1950. Journalist and political ... +
- 14 January 2023 Lewis Carroll Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, best known by his literary name, Lewis Carroll, was born in the UK, in Daresbury, on 27 January 1832 and died in Guildford on 14 ... +
- 16 December 2022 Philip K. Dick Philip Kindred Dick was born on 16 December 1928 in Chicago and died on 2 March 1982 in Santa Ana, California. Dick was one of the greatest sci-fi ... +
Fëdor Michajlovič Dostoevskij was born in Moscow on 11 November 1821 and died in Saint Petersburg on 9 February 1881. The great author represents, together with Tolstoij, the all-time pinnacle of Russian literature. In 1849, Dostoevskij was arrested and sentenced to death, and was pardoned at the very last moment; this experience deeply affected him and led to some reflections on the death penalty in his following novels, especially in Crime and punishment and The idiot. Amongst his other works stand out The Brothers Karamazov, Notes from the underground, The gambler and Demons.
George Orwell, the pseudonym of Eric Arthur Blair, was born in Motihari, India, on 25 June 1903, and died in London on 21 January 1950. Journalist and political and cultural essayist, Orwell is especially remembered for his politically allegorical novel Animal farm and the dystopian novel 1984, describing a future when a totalitarian regime manipulates people's reality and consciousness through blind obedience to a leader whom nobody has ever seen, “Big Brother”. Among his works stand out Animal farm and Homage to Catalonia.
Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, best known by his literary name, Lewis Carroll, was born in the UK, in Daresbury, on 27 January 1832 and died in Guildford on 14 January 1898. The British author is renowned for two books, Alice's adventures in Wonderland and Through the looking-glass, two literary classics for children that inspired generations of writers and artists. Carroll's works are full of wordplay and show a distinct taste for the nonsensical.
Philip K. Dick
Philip Kindred Dick was born on 16 December 1928 in Chicago and died on 2 March 1982 in Santa Ana, California. Dick was one of the greatest sci-fi writers of the past century, as well as a precursor of the cyberpunk genre. His many stories and novels explored philosophical and social themes such as computer simulation, the perception of reality, the control exerted by authoritarian governments, and the manipulation of truth. Amongst his most renowned works we find Ubik, The man in the high castle, A scanner Darkly, and Do androids dream of electric sheep?, which inspired the film Blade Runner.