How Swede it isn't: Is Italian crime fiction the next wave?
Three of the six novels shortlisted for the CWA's International Dagger Award this year are Italian: The Dark Valley by Valerio Varesi (translated by Joseph Farrell), The Potter's Field by Andrea Camilleri (tr. Stephen Sartarelli), and I Will Have Vengeance by Maurizio de Giovanni (tr. Anne Milano Appel), the last of which is also up for the Ellis Peters Historical Dagger. Furthermore, the good folks at Hersilia Press, who specialize in Italian crime fiction and who publish I Will Have Vengeance, are also bringing out an English translation of A Private Venus, a 1966 novel by Giorgio Scerbanenco, the father of Italian noir. That's good news.
The De Giovanni, titled Il senso del dolore in its original version and set in Italy's Fascist period, will make an interesting comparison with some of my favorite historical crime fiction: Carlo Lucarelli's De Luca trilogy of Carte Blanche, That Damned Season and Via delle Oche. (Read the first chapter of I Will Have Vengeance at the publisher's Web site.)
Hersilia, by the way, was the wife of Romulus, the mythical founder of Rome. Hersilia are also long-spinnered bark spiders. What this says about ancient Roman women, I don't know.
© Peter Rozovsky 2012