Only Alfredo’s Fault

Federico Cavina

€ 16,00
Publisher: Cairo Editore
Collection: Scrittori italiani
Pages: 320
ISBN/EAN: 978-88-6052-411-9

Alfredo is thirty, runs a library in downtown Milan and loves the blues. Full of phobias, hyper-allergic and maybe even radioactive, he is terrified by Nietzsche and the visitors who ask to take out Adrian’s Memoirs: the famous Brazilian soccer player’s autobiography. A would-be ecologist, Alfredo’s only means of transport is his car, an ancient, highly polluting Ford. He wants a kid, but doesn’t want to be a father. He honours his father even though he steals his girlfriends. As restless as Roth’s Zuckerman and as self-indulgent as Richler’s Barney, Alfredo is tormented by the thought of three women he’d like to get in bed, but with whom he traps himself in apparently dead-end relationships: Nena, his eccentric ex-schoolmate with multiple personalities will reveal a tragic past; Madeleine, his ex-long-term fiancée intent on her career, slams down the phone in his face after every conversation; his colleague Anna, a fascinating and mysterious Moldavian, knocks him off his feet. Meanwhile, unexplainable disappearances and strange anonymous messages on the car windshield amplify Alfredo’s fears while in a sub-plot, his immediate family survives every eccentricity of its members only to collapse from the identity crisis of Arthur’s father, a 60 year old aesthete, woman-chaser and tobacco addict. Alfredo understands that he must absolutely get out of the impasse of his life and undertake the path to rebirth. He is not alone. Some of the characters accompany him on this voyage: his friend Dave, a woman-fearing surfer; old, stateless Kanakis, who mistreats dogs but pampers widows; the assistant librarian Lucio, a passionate jazz musician; Leibniz, once a lawyer, now a beggar; Karl, the rigid but illuminated university prof engaged to Nena. Thanks to them, Alfredo will find the lucidity and courage to face every crisis, every loss, every enigma and, finally, «crosses the street» to the opposite sidewalk to reach the woman he really loves.

The author
Federico Cavina born in Milan on 7 December 1973, the holiday of Milan’s patron saint, which allows him to spend his birthdays on vacation for all his school years. His childhood and adolescence, marked by the tough Milan burbs, generate serious insecurities in his personality. In the beginning of the Nineties he works as conchy for ten months in a library in the hinterland where he develops a mad passion for books. This lucky escape from the hard streets leads him in 2000 to his first novel Autopista (Addictions). Then he ruins a brilliant university curriculum to work in the shining world of ad agencies. He marries a doctor in the attempt to heal his various bouts of hypochondria and reproduces himself two times in the illusion of creating his perfect clone. Basically, he writes to avoid paying an analyst.

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