La Superba

by Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer


Fiction from Deep Vellum Publishing
Translated from Dutch

La Superba is a Rabelaisian stylistic tour-de-force set in Genoa, the labyrinthine port city (nicknamed ‘La Superba’) where the author has lived for the last six years. Migration, legal and illegal, is the central theme of this autobiographical novel about a writer who becomes trapped in his walk on the wild side in a mysterious and exotic Old World city.

SKU: 134 Category:


Deep Vellum Publishing
Publication date:
15 March 15 2016
Paperback ISBN: 9781941920220
Ebook ISBN: 9781941920237

A master of language, Pfeijffer’s autobiographical novel about migration, illegal and legal, in Genoa tells the story of Europe today.

Translated from the Dutch by Michele Hutchison

Winner of the Libris Literatuurprijs in 2013, the most prestigious literary prize in the Netherlands


La Superba offers an exotic form of chaos and tragedy, and an extremely truthful image of old Italian life in a postmodern city.” — Anna Alden, Three Percent

“Anti-Europeans will see this extraordinary book as a knowing critique of a spoiled, corrupt, and quarrelsome lot of countries; pro-Europeans will admire its wit and its love of place and history. Inevitably, some will dislike its cruel mockery of intellectual and moral ambitions and its bizarre take on sex and growing old, all of which forms part of a whole, abundantly rich in provocative thought.” — Anna Paterson, World Literature Today

“The stories related throughout La Superba are attention-grabbing and entertaining, sometimes surreal, and at times downright grotesque. But while flirting with the obscene, the novel’s rawness also manages to strike a sympathetic chord.” — Michele Hutchison, Asymptote Journal

“Tragedy and comedy, life and death, sex and love–these are just a few of the themes explored by Pfeijffer in his wise, brave, gripping novel.” — Willard Manus, Lively Arts

“It’s witty throughout, it’s well written and it’s an ode to the imagination.” — NRC Handelsblad

“You read his salutary, pleasure-seeking prose to feast upon language. Bravissimo.” — Vrij Nederland

“Wonderful.” — Het Financieele Dagblad

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