Title: Nasluka (original title Esche Vive)

Author: Fabio Genovesi
Published by Via Lettera
Translation from Italian: Raina Castoldi
Editor: Diana Nikolova
Book cover: Kamena Dimitrova
ISBN: 978-619-7204-03-2
Year of publication: 2015
392 pages
Format: 140 х 200 mm


Fabio Genovesi’s novel Nasluka with original title in Italian Esche Vive (Live Bait) is a Bulgarian debut for the author. Genovesi is well-known and established writer both in Italy and abroad. With his first two novels he had already declared the Tuscan coastline and its inhabitants as his main area of interest. While most contemporary authors choose to look deeper into the drama and problems of urban life, Genovesi prefers the regional outlook on reality, he observes the strange local characters in the villages, he penetrates into the depth of daily life and the genesis of feelings.

With Nasluka we enter the small uneventful world of a Tuscan village, called Muglione. Genovesi is generous with the themes in his novel, ranging from fishing, cycling, music to love and prejudice and all sorts of clashes, between different cultures, different generations or expectations.

Among the colourful gallery of characters in the novel, the author follows three protagonists and their personal developments.

Fiorenzo, who is counting the days left before his high school graduation tests and who is getting ready to conquer the world with his heavy metal band. He realises that the task will not be easy partly because of the tough luck he has been given in life with his little handicap and because of the place he is coming from.

Tiziana, who is thirty two and counting the days since she has come back to her birthplace after spending the five most wonderful years of her life in Berlin. Having won a scholarship in competition with the rest of Italy, having graduated with a diploma in human resources that positions her at international class level, she decides to follow her inner idealism and makes the biggest mistake of her life.

Mirko, who is only fourteen but he is a rising cycling star and has already stopped counting the awards and honours he has been given. The races however do not bother him as much as the lack of friends and the growing gap between him and his schoolmates.

These are the protagonists in Nasluka by Fabio Genovesi, whose paths look incompatible at first glance. However, all of them live in a village, equally forgotten by the authorities and the tourists, lost in the plains of Tuscany, somewhere on the wrong side of Pisa.

With enviable ease and subtle irony the author manages to intertwine these and many other topics in a captivating, rich and unpredictable plot, where love as it turns out, is the main driving force. The style of the novel is engulfing for its straightforwardness and the great empathy of the writer towards the characters and events that he describes.

The critics in Italy were right to determine the novel as a ‘provincial epic’. We can only add that ‘the global village’ concept in this novel clashes head-on with the realities of authentic village life.