The event will include a reading and discussion of the translation as well as a reception from 4-6 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 20, at the North Dakota Museum of Art.
Giulio Mozzi's first book, This Is the Garden, astonished the Italian literary world for its commanding vision and the beauty of its prose. In the eight stories of this collection, there is a steady reworking of the idea of the world as a fallen Eden. In Mozzi's garden, quasi-allegorical characters seek knowledge of something beyond their shaken realities and react by escaping, retreating from reality into a world, as Mozzi says, that is "fantastic, mystical, absurd." A purse-snatcher mails his victim's letters back to her, including a letter of his own. An apprentice longs to be a real person, a worker, in an anonymous business where Kafkaesque machines cut nondescript pieces from an unnamed raw material. A man finds, in his endless activity of picking up broken glass in his garden, a metaphor for gathering the pieces of his soul.
Intensely imagistic, mystical, mysterious, This Is the Garden is a complicated, unsentimental—yet also heartfelt—exploration of spirituality, love, and the act of creation by a master of the short-story form.
Harris teaches fiction writing at UND, plus literature and the occasional course on literary translation. In her writing and literature courses, she often incorporates international literature and teaches about the seemingly invisible art form of literary translation. Harris's translations appear in numerous literary journals, including the Kenyon Review and Missouri Review, as well as appearing twice in the annual anthology, Best European Fiction (Giulio Mozzi 2012, Marco Candida 2011).Her translated books include Mario Rigoni Stern's Giacomo's Seasons (Autumn Hill Books) and two novels by Antonio Tabucchi forthcoming with Archipelago Books: Tristano Dies and For Isabel: a Mandala. Her translation prizes include a 2013 Translation Prize from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Culture (Rome) and a 2013 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Prize from the PEN American Center.
Harris came to UND in 2004 from a position at Bluffton College in Ohio. Harris received her bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota, and holds a master's degree in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University as well as two master of fine arts degrees from the University of Arkansas, one in creative writing and the other in literary translation.
Giulio Mozzi has published twenty-six books as a fiction writer, poet, and editor. He is primarily known for his story collections, especially This Is the Garden, which won the Premio Mondello."The Apprentice" (included in this collection) appears in an anthology of the top Italian stories of the twentieth century. He has even created an imaginary artist, Carlo Dalcielo, whose work has appeared in public exhibitions and books, like Dalkey Archive Press's Best European Fiction 2010.
By Kortnie Evanson, University & Public Affairs student writer