Alma Books publisher Alessandro Gallenzi’s fourth novel, Mombello, the first to be written by him originally in Italian, will be published by Rizzoli in Italy in spring 2018.
The novel, set in a lunatic asylum in Northern Italy in the 1930s, tells the story of Benito Albino, Mussolini’s secret son, through the eyes of his friend and fellow inmate Giuseppe Giudici, as the clouds of war gather on the horizon and the civil society outside the walls of Mombello teeters on the edge of the abyss.
Michele Rossi, fiction publisher at Rizzoli, said: “This is an exciting time of new departures for Rizzoli’s contemporary Italian fiction, with new projects, new series and new authors coming through. I am proud to be publishing Mombello: Alessandro Gallenzi has been able to turn a real historical event – only vaguely known by the Italian public – into a thoroughly researched, thrilling and emotionally engaging story.
"We see the day-to-day life in the asylum, with its nightmarish situations, its absurdities and its rules. Through these, we – and the reader – can observe Mussolini’s secret son in all his frailty and obsession. Benito Albino, interned against his will at Mombello, is a symbol of Italy’s inability to reconcile itself with its past.”
Gallenzi said: “I am delighted that my new novel will be published by such a prestigious publisher as Rizzoli. In my intentions, this is an attempt to give a voice to some people who have been silenced by history. It was a refreshing and liberating experience to be able to write this novel in my mother tongue.”
The deal was secured by Rosaria Carpinelli of Rosaria Carpinelli Consulenze Editoriali, who also handles all foreign rights for this title.