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When Things Happen – Book Presentation


The Italian Cultural Institute in New York

is pleased to host the presentation of the book

When Things Happen

by Italian writer

Angelo Cannavacciuolo

(Rutgers University Press, 2023).

The author Angelo Cannavacciuolo

in conversation with:

Gregory Pell, Translator and Professor of

Romance Languages and Literatures Hofstra University


Alane Salierno Mason,

Vice president and Executive Editor, W.W. Norton & Company

and Founder Words Without Border

October 10, 2023 | 6PM

Italian Cultural Institute

686 Park Avenue, New York

Please RSVP at

indicating “Cannavacciuolo”

Michele Campo is living the bourgeois Italian dream. Now a speech pathologist in his forties, he resides in an expensive Naples home with his partner, Costanza, daughter of an upper-class family. Michele’s own family origins, however, are murkier. When he is assigned to work with five-year-old foster child Martina, he grows increasingly engrossed by her case, as his own buried family history slowly claws its way back to the surface. The first novel by acclaimed Italian writer Angelo Cannavacciuolo to be translated into English, When Things Happen tells a powerful and intriguing story of what we lose when we leave our origins behind. It presents a panoramic view of Neapolitan society unlike any in literature, revealing a city of extreme contrasts, with a glamorous center ringed by suburban squalor. Above all, it is a psychologically nuanced portrait of a man struggling to locate what he values in life and the poor vulnerable child who helps him find it. You can order the book HERE

A. Cannavacciuolo is an award-winning Neapolitan writer and director. He is the author of several books, including Guardiani delle Nuvole (1999) and Il soffio delle Fate (2001). Read more HERE.

Register to the Event

  • Organized by: IIC-NY