This is the Garden


by Giulio Mozzi

January 21, 2014
stories | pb | 121 pgs
5.5" x 8.5"

“I read Giulio Mozzi’s first book with real enthusiasm. What struck me most was his everyday language. Even when his subjects rely on metaphor, his words are plain, and so turn mysterious.” 
—Federico Fellini

Giulio Mozzi’s first book, This Is the Garden (winner of the 1993 Premio Mondello), astonished the Italian literary world for its commanding vision and the beauty of its prose. In the eight stories of this collection, we see a steady reworking of the idea of the world as a fallen Eden. Here, in Mozzi’s garden, quasi-allegorical characters seek knowledge of something beyond their shaken realities: they have all lost something and react by escaping, retreating from reality into a world, as Mozzi says, that is “fantastic, mystical, absurd.” A purse-snatcher mails his victim’s letters back to her, including a letter of his own. An apprentice longs to be a real person, a worker, in an anonymous business where Kafkaesque machines cut nondescript pieces from an unnamed raw material. A man finds, in his endless activity of picking up broken glass in his garden, a metaphor for gathering the pieces of his soul. Intensely imagistic, mystical, mysterious, This Is the Garden is a complicated, unsentimental—yet also heartfelt—exploration of spirituality, love, and the act of creation by a master of the short-story form. (Read an Excerpt)

Translated from the Italian by Elizabeth Harris


About the Author: Giulio Mozzi has published twenty-six books—as fiction writer, poet, and editor. He is primarily known for his story collections, especially This Is the Garden, which won the Premio Mondello. “The Apprentice” (included in this collection) appears in an anthology of the top Italian stories of the twentieth century. He has even created an imaginary artist, Carlo Dalcielo, whose work has appeared in public exhibitions and books, like Dalkey Archive Press’s Best European Fiction 2010.

About the Translator: Elizabeth Harris's translations have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals. She is also the translator of Mario Rigoni Stern's Giacomo's Seasons (Autumn Hill) and Antonio Tabucchi's Tristano Is Dying (Archipelago). She teaches creative writing at the University of North Dakota.

"Gorgeously rooted in the best modernist tradition of writers like Italo Calvino and Antonio Tabucchi, Giulio Mozzi is among the most fiercely literary authors emerging from Italian literature today. These stories, which in so many different ways are about writing itself, are like rivers cutting through the northern Italian countryside—lush, limpid, exotic. Elizabeth Harris's translation beautifully renders the noble grit of Mozzi's distinctive voice." 
—Minna Proctor