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Alzarsi presto. Il libro dei funghi (e di mio fratello)

“Mushrooms that you found, four years ago or forty years ago, if you close your eyes you can still see them in detail. Why exactly those, among the thousands, you don’t know: they come back to you in your dreams, like the divinities of a precise moment”.There are valleys with lots and valleys with few. The valley of Sandro and his brother is a valley with few, at least that’s what they think. It doesn’t have any famous mountains or tourist attractions; instead, it has forests, shadows, damp and secret areas. And treasures, very precious ones. Sandro’s brother explores it every day, step by step, with his dogs (because he makes his living from truffles); Sandro has decided to spend some time there, to try to find himself as he searches. Something always happens when you hunt for mushrooms: that time the fishing was miraculous, the surprise of finding a new mushroom patch, the silent and agonizing rivalry among mushroom hunters… Odd, mysterious, intimate stories, hidden among the leaves and behind the rocks, just like porcini. In the forest, the two brothers laugh, run, remember words from their childhood that can only be said in that tangle of roots, tree trunks, and moss. They talk about money, work, the problems of daily life and the world’s problems; they wait for a thunderstorm, curse the drought that obliges them to search further and further away, they wage battle against wild boars and their cunning at finding truffle patches, they fall silent if they see a doe pass nearby. In these pages full of roots and lightheartedness, Campani talks about mushrooms – and the relationship between two men – as he treads carefully and observes with a clear eye. An unusual guide book for people who search for mushrooms and memories, that offers us all the amazement of that first time the dog returned wagging its tail, with a truffle in its mouth.

Sandro Campani lives and works in a town in the Apennine mountains between Tuscany and Emilia, where he was born in 1974. He has published È dolcissimo non appartenerti piú (Playground 2005), Nel paese del Magnano (Italic Pequod 2010), and La terra nera (Rizzoli 2013). With Einaudi, he has published Il giro del miele (2017) and I passi nel bosco (2020).