Wednesday, April 7, 2021 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

This event will be hosted on Zoom. Click here to register.

Andrea Bajani will be in conversation with Guadalupe Nettel.

A sly, prismatic novel that Jhumpa Lahiri says “accumulates with the quiet urgency of a snowstorm,” by Andrea Bajani, whom Michael Cunningham calls “a true original.” If You Kept a Record of Sins records the indelible marks a mother leaves on her son after she abandons their home in Italy for a business she’s building in Romania. Lorenzo, just a young boy when his mother leaves, recalls the incisive fragments of their life – when they would playfully wrestle each other, watch the sunrise, or test out his mother’s mysterious, mythical invention. Now a young man, Lorenzo travels to Romania for his mother’s funeral and reflects on the strangeness of today’s Europe, which masks itself as a model of democratic ideals while injustice and exploitation run rampant. Lorenzo’s navigations in a foreign country—which are carried out with the bleak detachment of a stranger observing “a burial with a missing body”—are interspersed with recollections of a kinetic and joyful closeness, together forming a captivating portrait of Lorenzo himself. With elliptical, piercing prose, Bajani tells a story of shattered illusions and unconditional love.

Andrea Bajani is one of the most respected novelists of contemporary Italian literature. His novel, Ogni promess (Every Promise), won the prestigious Bagutta Prize. Se consideri le colpe (If You Kept a Record of Sins) won the Super Mondello Prize, the Brancati Prize, the Recanati Prize, and the Lo Straniero Prize. His latest novel, Un bene al mondo, is currently being turned into a film. Bajani is also a journalist, and he published his first book of poetry, Promemoria, in 2017. He teaches at Rice University in the Department of Classical and European studies.

In 2006, Guadalupe Nettel was voted one of the thirty-nine most important Latin American writers under the age of thirty-nine at the Bogot Hay Festival. She has lived in Montreal and Paris, and is now based in Mexico City. Her previous books include Natural Histories and The Body Where I Was Born.


If You Kept a Record of Sins Cover Image
By Andrea Bajani, Elizabeth Harris (Translated by), Edmund White (Afterword by)
ISBN: 9781939810960
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Archipelago - March 23rd, 2021