Fifteen Italian authors.
I started taking portrait photographs of authors during my first visit to Lebanon in 2003. I continued taking them when I went to the Salon du livre francophone in Beirut and then also at literary events in France, such as Les Belles Étrangères in Paris and the Rencontres littéraires of the Maison des écrivains étrangers et des traducteurs in Saint-Nazaire.
Living in Stockholm, this is the city in which I have photographed most of the authors in my collection, not just Swedish or Scandinavian authors, but also authors from every part of the world who found themselves visiting Sweden’s capital, invited by publishers or cultural institutions from their respective countries.
I am particularly grateful to the Italian Cultural Institute “Carlo Maurilio Lerici” in Stockholm for giving me the opportunity to meet and photograph so many Italian writers, including Sandro Veronesi, Domenico Starnone, Jolanda Insana, Paolo Giordano, Valeria Parrella and Antonio Tabucchi. I, above all, remember the hour I spent with Antonio Tabucchi and how he happily did everything I asked of him as a photographer as we shared a beautiful afternoon in the shaded gardens of the city centre. And how can I forget the ten minutes granted to me by a taciturn, but extremely polite Umberto Eco, even though he clearly did not enjoy posing for photographs.
The series of portrait photographs you can see on the newitalianbooks website includes fifteen authors I met during the last few years. Five of these authors are among the 78 authors whose portraits appear in my latest book, Portraits d’auteurs / Author Portraits, published by Carlsson in Stockholm in 2020.
Järna, April 2021
Photographer, translator and gardener, resident in Sweden since 1994. www.laurentdenimal.se