Polenta and Goanna

Anno/Year 2021
248 pagine/pages
1 illustrazioni/illustrations.
15x21 cm.
ISBN 978-88-3384-091-8

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Altre pubblicazioni di Emilio Gabbrielli
Polenta e Goanna
Racconti di fine secolo

Emilio Gabbrielli

Polenta and Goanna
Translation by Barbara McGilvray


In a mysterious castle in Libya, the narrator stumbles on some unexpected vestiges of the past which inspire him to recount his extraordinary experiences in Australia. The result is the story of a meeting of two cultures — Italian and Aboriginal — and of the emotions aroused by his chance encounters with people and places that are the vivid, but fragile, proof of that meeting.

In the search for a distant reality, which resonates strongly with present day issues, magical storytelling is interwoven with sociological curiosity, historical reconstruction and notes on a journey. The reader is swept up in an engrossing narrative that explores fascinating truths about Italian migrants to Australia during the last Gold Rush, from the close of the 19th century across the first decades of the 20th.


Emilio Gabbrielli was born in Florence in 1948. He has a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Bologna, and a post-degree specialization in simulation and optimization of chemical plant design from the same university.
His restless temperament and natural curiosity have taken him around the world: he has lived in Peru, Australia, England, Brazil and Sweden, and worked for long periods in Libya, the United States, Spain, Chile, Argentina, Indonesia and the UAE. He now divides his time between Sydney and Florence.
In tandem with his scientific training and a career in water desalination, services and policies, Gabbrielli has always pursued his creative interests, as a painter and as a writer of prose, poetry and plays.
He has won prizes in Australia for his short stories and for his one-act play, Yvonne. A collection of his short stories was published in Florence by Pontecorboli in 2016 with the title Racconti di fine secolo (Tales of the end of the century).
Polenta e Goanna was shortlisted for the Arcangela Todaro-Faranda Prize for a manuscript ready for publication (Bologna, 1998), and published by Pontecorboli in 2000. The first edition of Barbara McGilvray’s English translation, Polenta and Goanna, was published in Milan by Italian Paths of Culture (IPOC) in 2008.

La pubblicazione da parte di questa casa editrice Pontecorboli del romanzo Polenta e Goanna nel 2000 marcò il suo debutto come romanziere. Il romanzo era stato selezionato come finalista del Concorso Premi Biennali di narrativa inedita Arcangela Todaro-Faranda, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Bologna, nel 1998. La pubblicazione originale in italiano fu seguita dalla pubblicazione della traduzione in inglese di Barbara McGilvray da parte di Italian Paths of Culture (IPOC), Milano nel 2008.