Marilena Renda

Marilena Renda

Marilena Renda was born in Erice. She lived in Rome, Palermo and Milan and now she lives in Bologna, where she teaches, writes and translates. She graduated in Foreign Languages and got a PhD in Italian Studies with a thesis about Judaism and literature in the twentieth century. She wrote essays about Giorgio Bassani, Primo Levi, Anna Maria Ortese, Jolanda Insana and Amelia Rosselli and published them both in periodicals and books. In 2010, Gaffi published Bassani, Giorgio. Un ebreo italiano, the monograph she wrote, and in 2012 press published her epic poem Ruggine. In 2015, L’orma published her short stories in a collection called Arrenditi Dorothy! and her collection of poems La sottrazione was published by Transeuropa. She contributes to doppiozero, Alfabeta2 and Bookdetector. Her first novel, Regali ai fantasmi, was published in 2017 by GEM – Mesogea.

She was one of the finalists to the Carducci Prize in 2013:



An article by the author:

A poem by the author published in the Sunday insert of the Italian newspaper Sole 24ore (29 December 2013):


catturaPresents for Ghosts (GEM/Mesogea, 2017)

An intriguing story, told in a very poetic and resonant prose, about two orphaned sisters from Sicily. They lost their parents in a plane accident and Elena, who moved to Northern Italy as a teacher, goes back to Palermo in order to take care of her younger sister Vittoria who is deaf and lives with their aunt. Elena goes to a school to learn sign language, and Vittoria is the main character of their little world, with her antics and her unconscious grace. Palermo is an eerie city teeming with strange characters, where the two sisters used to live in an enchanted atmosphere when they were children, but now it looks more like something unreal.

In school Elena makes some friends, young unemployed people like her. When Giacomo, the teacher, decides to stage a play, he choses Vittoria as the leading actress. And it is with Vittoria that Dario, Elena’s friend and leading actor, falls in love. Again, Elena is in the backdrop.