2nd German edition published in March 2023
1st German edition published in Sept 2022, both by Querverlag, Berlin
Italian translation published by Graphofeel Edizioni, Rome, Italy, Christmas 2023

The novel has not yet been translated into English. I have just begun to look for an English or American publisher. Here you read the preview of the book which has been translated by Ramey Rieger.

A Summer of Rain
A rare coming of age account in historic Gastarbeiter milieu

An Italian Gelateria sets the stage for cultural intermingling

In the late nineteen-fifties, 16-year-old Luca leaves his home in Northern Italy for Germany where he is sent to support his eight-member family. This is Luca’s first season as a Gastarbeiter in an Italian gelateria. Under Signora Colombo’s exacting tutelage, Luca soon learns the stress and strain of a seven-day work week. He is grateful for the many rainy days, setting him free to wander this foreign city.  

One such day, Luca meets Hans, a German student of the same age, who has been dubbed bel biondo by the female gelateria Gastarbeiter. Surmounting language barriers the two young men become friends and together, with the help of an Italian-German dictionary, they learn to voice that for which their teenage vocabulary had yet no words.

From a unique perspective, A Summer of Rain, adeptly weaves an evocative tale of the Gastarbeiter world that decisively influenced post-war Germany.

An excerpt of the book:

Luca and Hans sat rather close together on the sofa but Luca felt they were miles apart. Like that day on the park bench at Pader Springs, under the scrutiny of passers-by, today,  albeit under the warm and understanding scrutiny of Hans’ mother.

“It’s a pity the summer was so awful for the gelateria, but it gave you two the chance to spend much time together,” Brigitte said to Luca and translated for Hans.

“Yes, that’s true,” Hans said, looking at Luca.

“Hans showed me a great deal of Paderborn and he helped me learn German more quickly,” Luca said.

“Wait a moment. I’ll translate for Hans,” Brigitte offered right away. Luca spoke directly to Hans, pausing often so Brigitte could translate. 

As he spoke and Brigitte translated, he and Hans held each other’s gaze, speaking another language beyond words; a third language only the two them understood, wholly disengaged from Italian or German. 

Here, they could not make use of their bodies, facial expressions and gestures to relay how they would miss each another. Only their eyes interpreted and translated between the lines, words and languages. 

The only vent for emotions hidden and cowering behind the lexicon on Luca’s night table, behind the walks in Pader Springs Park and behind swimming in Kaiser Karls Bad, like a cat hiding in the garden when a larger, more dangerous animal was approaching.

The author Marcello Liscia

Marcello Liscia was born 1971 in Paderborn, Germany. Words, whether written or spoken, have always been his perferred medium of expression, which led him to study both English and French literature and linguistics during his youth. For over 20 years he has been an executive advisor, trainer and coach, active throughout the European continent. Today, Marcello lives in Westphalian Salzkotten, not far from Paderborn. When not working on his next novel, he and his husband, Jan, tend to their 20 bee colonies. 

Foto: Martin Synowzik

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