San Ginese is a village in Tuscany. Many of its inhabitants travelled to Australia and America to work, and some of them returned. The Fireflies of Autumn tells of its rich, sometimes tragic life throughout the course of the twentieth century.
These linked tales recall the fables of Italo Calvino, the intimacy and sometimes shocking candour of Elena Ferrante, and Colm Toibin’s nuanced sense of migration’s losses and gains. But ultimately Moreno Giovannoni is an original. In writing that appears simple, but which has great complexity and power, he offers literary style, cultural wisdom and complete immersion in a fully imagined Italian world. This is Tuscany as you have never seen it before.
Giovannoni was the inaugural winner of the Deborah Cass Prize. The judges, Alice Pung, Christos Tsiolkas and Tony Ayres, called his work ‘whimsical without being sentimental, inventive without being precious … it captures in a humorous, ironical voice something delicate but intangible about loss, nostalgia and home.’