Italian Alps, 1980. After what it looked like an endless journey, a young ethnomusicologist ends up right where she wanted to be: the little village of Crottarda. When she was little, she used to go there on holiday with her parents, and she never forgot the bewitching sounds that she heard at night during their stay. Those sounds were the shouts that shepherds gave each other in between the crests; and now, moved by her academic interest, she wants to study this ancient, mysterious habit. What she finds out is that the oppressive shadow of the mountain affects the village and the minds of its community, creating a hard hostility towards another village on the opposite, well-brighted slope, as if the conformation of the territory shaped its people’s temper to the bone.Helped by a local, uncanny girl and a speleologist only equipped with his own forehead lamp, the ethnomusicologist tries to decode the shepherds’ sounds and the eccentric routines of the villagers, surrounded by a cryptic, dreamlike atmosphere – like an evocative and somehow disturbing fable.But do these shouts really exist and are worthy of her study, or everything is just a trick of her memory? And are these strange people really what they appear to be, or the distance from the rest of the world made them unfitting to any kind of contact with “someone from the outside”?
A high school teacher, Claudio Morandini lives in Aosta. “Neve, cane, piede” has been a real literary phenomenon: a top 5 best-seller, it won the Procida-Elsa Morante-Isola di Arturo prize in 2016 and it has been sold to UK, France, Netherlands, Turkey, Chile and Argentina. Film rights have been optioned.
In 2018, Salani published his first children’s book “Le maschere di Pocacosa”, and in 2019 his new novel “Gli oscillanti” has been published by Bompiani.