THE ABSENT'S PLACE
Shortlisted for the Premio Costadamalfilibri 2021
Literary & General
Francesco Puccio is a researcher in ancient Greek and Latin theatre and its reception on contemporary scene at Padua University. A playwright and theatre director himself, he is the creator and art director of "L'antico fa testo", a research project on the performativity of classical myth on modern scene. He has written novels ("Stars out of Place", Albatros 2010; "Mathilde bianca di Calce", Marlin 2013; "Eleven and a half", Effigi 2014; "Rosso Lupo", Iemme 2017), plays, essays ("Anthropology ...
All except sold
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Teo is forty-years-old and a detective story writer. Every year he withdraws to the Greek island of Kefalonia to buff up his novels. There he befriends Petra, a bizarre tavern's owner, a sort of modern aedo who loves to tell his customers always new stories, halfway between truth and fiction.
The day when, on his arrival to Kefalonia Teo learns that Petra is dead, he goes to the cemetery to greet his friend. On his way there his mind goes back to the last story Petra told him, the most mysterious and thrilling, and also the most authentic and exciting one.
It's the start of a journey backwards along the paths of memory which, as if in an investigation by the inspector of his detective stories, will engage Teo relentlessly, pushing him to settle with a still unsolved existence as well as with the place that belongs to those who remain.
Reading along two tracks that intertwine and complement each other, we learn the story of Petra, his friendship with Damian, Damian's sudden death, the place Petra himself occupies beside the widow, Sofia, his acting as father of a child not of his own.
We also learn the story of Teo who, while thinking of Petra's life, ends up rethinking his own's and moving on the fleeting line that separates past from present, where his beloved Greta has begun to take the absents' place.
Francesco Puccio: quando il mare greco si tinge di giallo _Maria Vittoria Veneruso for "Libriincircolo"; Salernocittà.com 30.12. 2021; Monica Trotta for "Il Mattino di Salerno" 09.06. 2021; Liberementi, 14.05.2021;