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Driven by a versatile and surprising style, Nocturne de Gibraltar enacts a furious sabotage of the most widely read and loved genre: the detective story. In the secluded tea room of Barcelona’s Grand Hotel Rodoreda, a young journalist is interviewing the famous writer Enrique Vila-Matas. But, evidently, something goes wrong. Only the interviewer’s corpse remains in the room, and Vila-Matas seems to have vanished into thin air.A grumpy detective, and proud «enemy of the Letters», sets off in pursuit of the supposed murderer with the help of his sister Soledad, a forensic scientist and highly educated reader, who seems to be more involved in the affair than she should be. This triggers a novelistic device composed of correspondence, reports, interviews, picaresque vicissitudes (and even a world championship of literary detectives in which sacred monsters such as Poirot, Montalbano, Maigret and Sherlock Holmes compete). A playful and diabolical ‘hyper-fiction’ that through a skilful web of amusing homages and tasty quotations will take the reader from the canals of Flanders to the Baltic, from the Swedish Academy to Patagonia, and finally to Gibraltar, where marginal poets in disarray claim a space for the incandescent matter that is literature.

Gennaro Serio was born in Naples in 1989. He works in the editorial staff of Alias D, a book supplement of il manifesto, and collaborates with various newspapers and cultural inserts. His first work, Notturno di Gibilterra (L’orma editore 2020), a literary and parodistic detective story, as well as winning the Italo Calvino Prize, has been compared to the atmospheres of Bolaño and Eco and hailed by critics as one of the most surprising debuts in recent years.