Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Vita and Virginia

No, not that old pair of Sapphists.

I’m happy to report that Farrar Strauss Giroux has published a translation of Melania Mazzucco’s Vita, a sweeping historical novel of Italian immigrant life. The translator is my dear friend Ginny, Virginia Jewiss. I’ll give you the full report once I’ve read it but the notices are good (one in the New Yorker this week—not the architecture one, the one after that) and most don’t mention the translation—alas, usually a good sign. Those that do, have only praise. Of course, I expect no less from Ginny whose Italian is flawless and who, one memorable Easter, came to my tiny apartment with a guest, a merry Italian poet who taught me the expression “fuore come un balcone” (spelling?). Literally, “crazy like a balcony,” but meaning something like “so far out that she’s not even in the house.”

Bravissma, Ginny!

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