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I’m looking forward to being not only in conversation but also in person (my first in-person event since 2020) with Italian author and translator Claudia Durastanti this Monday, April 4th, 6 PM, for the U.S. book launch of the English edition of her novel STRANGERS I KNOW, translated by Elizabeth Harris. (Originally published in Italian in 2019 as La Straniera.) Claudia Durastanti is the Italian translator of Joshua Cohen, Donna Haraway, Ocean Vuong and the most recent edition of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

The event will take place at at the John D Calandra Italian American Institute at Queens College, CUNY, at 6 PM for their Writers Read Series: 25 West 43rd Street, 17th Floor New York, N.Y. 10036

Jhumpa Lahiri says: “Formally innovative and emotionally complex, STRANGERS I KNOW explores themes of communication, family, and belonging with exceptional insight. Durastanti, celebrated in Italy for her intelligent voice and her hybrid perspective, speaks to all who are outside and in-between. Strangers I Know, in a bracing translation by Elizabeth Harris, is a stunning English-language debut.”

STRANGERS I KNOW is the fourth novel by Claudia Durastanti and her first to be translated to English; the book is a bestseller in Italy and winner of the Premio Pozzale Luigi Russo and the Premio Strega Off. The largely autobiographical novel is a subversive story about family and coming of age; it crosses oceans, languages, and generations, bringing readers into small pastoral villages of Southern Italy as well as into smoky night clubs and the NYC punk rock scene. The novel’s narrator finds herself living in a strange transnational atmosphere in which communication is nearly nonexistent. An outsider in every way, she longs for a freedom she isn’t sure exists and attempts to create her own version of her life.

Free, open to the public, and held in person at the Calandra Institute.

RSVP by calling (212) 642-2094.

Registration is required for all events in order to follow current CUNY COVID guidelines. Proof of vaccination and ID are required upon entry. Masks are encouraged but not required. We will continue to assess the latest data and public health guidance and to act in compliance with CUNY protocols.