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6 June 2024

Interview with Stefano Mazzesi and Vania Rivalta (Clown Bianco Publishing)

Author:
Paolo Grossi

When did Clown Bianco Editions come into being? What was its programme?

 

Clown Bianco Edizioni was founded in 2016 with a basic idea: to give space to quality Italian genre literature, whereby quality we meant – and still mean – noir and thriller stories that had a deep connection with reality, that recounted aspects of our everyday life. Genre literature was already very fashionable, but in the showcases we mainly saw translated foreign authors and a couple of Italian names. Today, even the big groups have realised the potential of the Italian “giallo”. We resist in our niche, with authors who can make people think and entertain them, each with his or her own style, never imposed by us because perhaps at that moment the market seems to prefer something in particular. Over time we have expanded the catalogue to include non-genre fiction, but the selection criteria are the same: originality of the author’s voice and ‘rough’ themes.

 

What are the strengths of the White Clown catalogue currently?

 

In our catalogue there are some entries of definite literary value, both in the field of genre fiction and fiction tout court. For example, the grand-guignolese dystopias of Giuseppe Casa, who, starting from everyday obsessions, such as eternal youth or the most fashionable technological trinket, reaches very black heights; or the noir of Cristina Brondoni, who invites us to look at the face of evil by constructing stories that we cannot put down until the last page; the suffering and intimist voices of narrators such as Stefano Bon and Paolo Panzacchi; the irony with which Paola Rambaldi’s writing is imbued; the refinement and care in the choice of every word of Nevio Galeati; the nostalgic scent in Stefano Mazzesi’s novels; Andrea Malabaila’s generational novel. And we could go on…

 

How much space and attention is devoted in your catalogue to Italian authors?

 

Our catalogue is almost entirely composed of Italian authors. And that ‘almost’ is due to the presence of two foreign authors, who lived in the 19th century, of whom we have translated two titles for a small, well-edited series, ‘I Cormorani’, dedicated to mystery classics.

 

What plans are there for the years to come?

 

At the moment we have contacts with very interesting authors who will probably be published in 2025, but we would also like to discover a new talent, as happened with Andrea Santucci, who has published two historical thrillers with us and who shows great promise. It would be wonderful if the big publishing groups would keep an eye on what the small publishers are doing, to unearth the authors of the future, the ones to bet on. It happens sometimes, but not as often as it could.

 

Are you familiar with the support mechanisms for the translation of titles by Italian authors proposed by Maeci (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation), Cepell and Seps? Have you already used them?

 

Yes, we are aware of them but we have not used any at the moment. There is a lot of bureaucracy to manage and for now it is beyond our strength. Let’s hope for the future!

 

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