One thing we all agree on as readers is that important emotional hook that enables us to empathise with the characters in the stories we read. I think the majority of us would agree that we have an important story (or stories!) that helped us to identify with our feelings and lessened that feeling of being alone, knowing that others have been on a similar journey. Sweet Dreams, Little One by Massimo Gramellini looks at how the loss of a mother affects a young man from boyhood to manhood and I feel has the power to be that book for someone.
Sweet Dreams, Little One is an international bestselling novel that’s been translated into fourteen languages. Released by publishers Alma Books in digital format in 2014 it was also released in paperback in 2015.
Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: Alma Books Ltd (15 Jan. 2015)
(Translated by Stephen Parkin)
It’s early morning on New Year’s Eve, and nine-year-old Massimo wakes up to a long, doleful cry and the disconcerting image of his dad being supported by two strangers. Inexplicably, his mother has disappeared, leaving only a vague trail of perfume in his room and her dressing gown bundled up at the foot of his bed. Where has she gone? Will she ever come back? And will Massimo be able to say sorry, after quarrelling with her the night before?
At turns poignant and funny, Sweet Dreams, Little One – the most successful book to come out of Italy last year, and an international sensation – is the story of a secret which has been kept hidden for forty years and the uplifting tale of a boy who, as he grows into an adult, has to learn how to cope with the pain of bereavement and the demons of his own nightmares.
About the Author:
Massimo Gramellini is Deputy Editor at La Stampa, where he runs a front-page daily column. A household name in Italy thanks to his regular TV appearances, he is the author of several books, including L’ultima riga delle favole (The Last Line of Fairy Tales) and Fai bei sogni (Sweet Dreams, Little One).
The film adaptation, Sweet Dreams (Fai Bei Sogni), screened in the Directors Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival this year and sold to more than 15 territories across the globe, including Soda Pictures in the UK.
Sweet Dreams is a deeply engrossing story of how one man’s life is haunted by the tragic loss of his mother, in mysterious circumstances, when he was a child. Now a successful war reporter, Massimo’s emotional fragility (brilliantly conveyed by the excellent Valerio Mastandrea) forces him to confront the truth of the past in order to move on with his life. Adeptly switching between 1960’s childhood period scenes and modern-day Turin, Sweet Dreams is a mature example of serious filmmaking from Italian Maestro Marco Bellocchio
Grab the opportunity to see Sweet Dreams … it’s showing as part of the British Film Institute’s London Film Festival. Tickets are still available for 6th October at Curzon Mayfair Cinema and 9th October at Haymarket Cinema.