Author(s): Sandro Veronesi
After an afternoon of surfing, television executive Pietro Paladini and his brother Carlo spot two women struggling far off in the waves. Pietro and Carlo race to save them, and after fighting the currents and exhaustion, bring them safely to shore. Now late to get home, Pietro hurries up from the beach only to find his young daughter, Claudia, wide-eyed at the side of the road. His wife has unexpectedly died while he was saving the life of another. After numbly feeling their way through the rituals of death and the end of summer, the school year begins. On that first day, Pietro decides to wait for Claudia and work from his car in the parking lot outside her school; he is also waiting for the full force of grief to press down on their shoulders, to suffocate them. What if today is the day that happens?What if Claudia needs him? On the second day, Pietro again waits for his daughter ...and the third, and the fourth. He finds some semblance of peace in waiting, and strangely others find something similar in him: his colleagues, friends and family begin to visit him at the parking lot to share their problems. It's there that the woman he saved finds him, stirring in him a distracting, overbearing lust that stands in the way of his grief. Through their angry, unforgiving union, Pietro's days outside the school reach their culmination, and his loss is finally transformed into acceptance. At turns funny and dark, unexpectedly compelling and powerfully real, "Quiet Chaos" takes readers into the odd, beautiful moments of the everyday that offer opportunity for contemplation, and ultimately, renewal.
"[An] absorbing second novel." - Publishers Weekly
Sandro Versonesi was born in Prato, Italy in 1959. A novelist, essayist, and journalist, he earned a degree in architecture at the University in Florence before pursuing a career in writing. His seventh novel, The Force of the Past, won the Viareggio-Repaci Prize and the Campiello Prize and was a Zerilli-Marimo finalist. He lives in Rome. Michael Moore is co-chair of the PEN Translation Committee. He has translated, from the Italian, works by the novelist Erri De Luca, the poet Alfredo Giuliani, and the aphorist Guido Ceronetti.