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Viola Di Grado

Viola Di Grado was born in Catania (Italy) in 1987. She studied in Turin, Leeds, Japan and China, and graduated in East Asian philosophies at the University of London. Her stories and essays appeared in many magazines and anthologies. Her debut novel Settanta acrilico trenta lana was a major critical and commercial success and was translated into eight languages. It won the prestigious Campiello Opera Prima Award and the Rapallo Opera Prima Award, it was shortlisted for the Strega Award and longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. She taught workshops on Creative Writing as well as on East Asian philosophies and religions. Her second novel, Cuore Cavo (Hollow Heart), was shortlisted for the PEN Translation Prize.

Reviews of Hollow Heart:

“A danse macabre for millennials.” — Los Angeles Review of Books

“[…] the writing is pristine. Each sentence lures us further into the flies and blood-filled spirals of Di Grado’s dreamworld and, most importantly, we are willing to follow her.” — The Independent (UK)

“Di Grado plays an inventive, self-aware game with language that saturates her macabre landscapes, transforming them into darkly comical expositions of death and unhappiness.” — Music & Literature Magazine

“Themes from the first novel […] are reprised and developed here in an extraordinary feat of linguistic gymnastics expertly captured in Anthony Shugaar’s translation.” — Times Literary Supplement Blog

“Hollow Heart has the authentic ring of autobiography. Pure imagination is incapable of inventing something this assured, this intense and vivid [. . .] A writer this powerful is scary.” — Sarah Wu, Intense Sensations

“Hollow Heart […] is just as strongly written as its predecessor, taking the black, manic tone of the earlier book and pushing it into a new territory – beyond the grave.” — Tony’s Reading List

Books by Viola Di Grado
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