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  • Writer's pictureSerena Piccoli

The long wait for the angel

Updated: May 8

The long wait for the angel is the title of an extraordinary novel by one of the best Italian living writers: Melania Mazzucco.

It is set in 16th century Venice, when lots was going on in the city - plague, wars, trades with Asia, people travelling to the city for leisure, to study or to do some business. Among all this one of the greatest painter of all time was living, struggling, loving and of course painting! The novel is a very emotional tale about the love of Tintoretto, the Venetian painter, both for his daughter, Marietta, and his city. Art is what joins these two passions.

Nobody who truly loves painting can fail to be dumbfounded, overwhelmed, and astonished in the halls of the Scuola di San Rocco (Venice, Italy).

The book has been translated into English, as many others of Mazzucco's books.

Below you can read her biography and have a hint of what she has written so far. Melania Mazzucco is among the best known and read in Italy and abroad. Here's an article about Tintoretto that she has written (in English).


Melania Mazzucco was born in Rome in 1966. In Vita (2003, Premio Strega) she reinvents the story of her family’s emigration to America at the beginning of the twentieth century. The novel has great success in Italy and abroad. In 2005 she published A perfect day, from which the director Ferzan Ozpetek draws the film of the same name. To the Venetian painter Tintoretto, Melania Mazzucco dedicates the novel The long wait of the angel (2008, Bagutta Prize) and Jacomo Tintoretto & his sons. Story of a Venetian family (2009), biography of the master and his beloved daughter Marietta, which reconstructs one hundred and fifty years of Venice’s history.

In January 2011 she received the Viareggio – Tobino Literary Prize as Author of the Year and in 2013 the Ignazio Silone Prize. For Einaudi she has published: Limbo (2012); The Dachshund and the Queen (2015); She so loved (latest edition 2016); You are as you are (2013); Life (2014); I am with you (2016). In 2013 she recounted 52 masterpieces of art in the Sunday column Il museo del mondo in the newspaper «la Repubblica» (a collection that later became a book for Einaudi in 2014).


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