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Book Presentation: Paolo Cognetti and Edmund White



Book Presentation: Paolo Cognetti and Edmund White

On the occasion of the publication in the U.S. of his first novel Le Otto Montagne  - The Eight Mountains, translated by Erica Segre and Simon Carnell, Simon&Schuster, 2018 Paolo Cognetti in conversation with Edmund White.


Paolo Cognetti, an Italian writer and essayist born in Milan in 1978, divides his time between the city and the mountains. His passion for the city of New York has found expression in various writings including New York è una finestra senza tende (New York is a window with no curtains) (Laterza 2010), Tutte le mie preghiere guardano verso ovest (All my prayers look toward west) (EDT 2014), the series Scrivere/New York (Write/New York) (Minimum Fax) from which the documentary Il lato sbagliato del ponte, viaggio tra gli scrittori di Brooklyn - On the wrong side of the bridge, travel among Brooklyn’s writers, and the Anthology of Selected American authors New York Stories (Einaudi 2015).

His first novel Le otto montagne (The Eight Mountains) (Einaudi 2016) follows three collections of short stories Manuale per ragazze di successo (Manual for girls of success) (2004), Una cosa piccola che sta per esplodere (A little thing about to explode) (2007) and Sofia si veste sempre di nero (Sofia wears always black) (2012) All three published by Minumum Fax.

The Eight Mountains won in 2017 both Italy’s most prestigious literary award, the Premio Strega, and the French Prix Médicis étranger, and it has been published in more than thirty countries.


Edmund White (Cincinnati, OH, 1940) is an American writer of fiction, autobiographical narrative, and essays on literary and social topics. His books include three autobiographic novels, A Boy's Own Story, The Beautiful Room Is Empty and The Farewell Symphony, and a biography of Jean Genet, for which he won the National Book Critics Circle Award. A professor of creative writing at Princeton University, White has received many awards and distinctions. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de la Republique Francaise, and he has been recently awarded the 2018 PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction, conferred every year to a living American author whose scale of achievement in fiction, over a sustained career, places him or her in the highest rank of American literature --the motivation: for his honest, beautifully wrought and fiercely defiant books, and his body of work, including his autobiographical trilogy.
Edmund White, who has spent long periods of time in Europe, lives in New York City. His latest work, of imminent publication is a non-fiction book, That Unpunished Vice: Reading.


The Eight Mountains is the story of the friendship between two young Italian boys coming from different backgrounds, and how their incredibly strong connection evolves, changes, and challenges them throughout their lives. Pietro is a lonely boy living in Milan. With his parents becoming more distant each day, the only thing the family shares is their love for the Alps. While on vacation at the foot of the mountains, Pietro meets Bruno, an adventurous, spirited local boy. Together they spend many summers exploring the mountain’s meadows and peaks and discover the similarities and differences in their lives, their origins, and their futures. The two boys come to find the true meaning of friendship and camaraderie, even as their divergent paths in life— Bruno’s in the mountains, Pietro’s in cosmopolitan cities across the world—test the strength and meaning of their connection.

A modern Italian masterpiece, The Eight Mountains is a lyrical coming-of-age story about the power of male friendships and the enduring bond between fathers and sons.


Date: Friday, March 16, 2018

Time: From 6:00 pm To 8:00 pm

Organized by : ICI

Entrance : Free


Italian Cultural Institute of New York