Andrea Bajani, Elizabeth Harris, and Stuart Dybek at Pilsen Community Books
April 8 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
A sly, prismatic novel that Jhumpa Lahiri says “accumulates with the quiet urgency of a snowstorm,” Bajani’s If You Kept a Record of Sins, translated by Elizabeth Harris, records the indelible marks a mother leaves on her son after she abandons their home in Italy for a business she’s building in Romania.
Andrea Bajani is one of the most respected and award-winning novelists and poets of contemporary Italian literature. He is the author of four novels and two collections of poems. His novel, If You Kept a Record of Sins, has brought him a great deal of attention. In just a few months, the book won the Super Mondello Prize, the Brancati Prize, the Recanati Prize and the Lo Straniero Prize. His works have been translated into many languages. He now lives in Houston and teaches at Rice University.
Elizabeth Harris translates contemporary Italian fiction, including novels and story collections by Mario Rigoni Stern, Giulio Mozzi, Antonio Tabucchi, and Claudia Durastanti. For her translations of Antonio Tabucchi’s For Isabel: A Mandala and Tristano Dies: A Life, she has received the PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant, an NEA Translation Fellowship, The Italian Prose in Translation Award, and the National Translation Award for Prose.
Stuart Dybek was born and raised in Pilsen and Little Village. Dybek is a writer of place and those neighborhoods are central to his fiction and poetry. He is the author of 6 books of fiction including Childhood and Other Neighborhoods, The Coast of Chicago, and I Sailed With Magellan, all set in Pilsen, as well as the poetry collections, Brass Knuckles and Streets in the Own Ink. His work has received many awards including a Macarthur “genius award.” He is currently the Distinguished Writer in Residence at Northwestern University.