Ada d’Adamo, the writer nominated for the Prize, has died

Ada d’Adamo, the writer nominated for the Prize, has died

Abruzzese, 55 years old, she had just entered the dozen of semifinalists with her debut novel, “Come d’aria”, published by Elliot. “The book remains in the race”

Two hours. In the publishing house – the Roman Elliot – they say that that was enough to read and decide that yes, that book had to be published. The strong and painful story of a fifty-year-old mother who discovers she has a tumor and who, while life betrays her, tells her disabled daughter the story of their bond: a text that marks. The author of that story, the newcomer Ada d’Adamo, with that novel — Come d’aria — on Thursday 30 March she had entered the dozen titles competing at the Strega. Time has betrayed her again: she died in the night between March 31st and April 1st.

Ill for some time, d’Adamo was 55 years old, lived in Rome where she died – to make the announcement, her publishing house: «A piece of our heart goes with her» —. She was born in Ortona, in Abruzzo, in 1967. Come d’aria it was her first novel. A memoir with autobiographical roots: the author had a daughter, Daria, who was severely disabled since her birth.

The book will remain in the competition, as per the regulation, the Goffredo and Maria Bellonci Foundation officially communicated who manages the Strega: «The death of Ada d’Adamo – reads a note – deeply saddens us. There wasn’t time to get to know her, yet we loved her thanks to her book. In presenting to the public Come d’aria Elena Stancanelli, who proposed it to the Strega Prize (and who spoke on Thursday in Rome during the press conference representing the author, ndr), said that “meeting this story is a gift”. Here, it is a consolation to know that the writer’s words will continue to reach her readers ».

Come d’aria it was Ada d’Adamo’s first foray into fiction but not into writing: a graduate in Performing Arts and a graduate of the National Academy of Dance, she had worked extensively in the world of theater and ballet. A passion that later became an assiduous and continuous research on the themes of the body, on how art and dance experience it, themes on which d’Adamo had written various essays and on which he worked in schools and theater workshops. A great expert in children’s books, she collaborated as an editor with the Gallucci publisher.

Now, the novel. An adventure with a long gestation, almost ten years, and which was rooted in a letter that the author had written years ago, in 2008, to Corrado Augias who had published it in «Republic». The crux, not easy, was the abortion: «A “very good” doctor – wrote d’Adamo at the time – was not able to read from an ultrasound that my daughter would be born with a serious cerebral malformation. Today my daughter, just over 2 years old, is a multi-disabled person, 100% disabled». And again: «Abortion is a painful choice for those who carry it out, but it is a choice and it must be guaranteed. Even though she has turned my life upside down, I adore my beautiful imperfect daughter. But if I had been able to choose, that day, I would have chosen therapeutic abortion».

Ada d’Adamo – and with her Alfredo, father and partner – dedicated her life and a continuous, unceasing commitment to Daria – a newborn, then a child and a teenager. To her and her body “completely out of control, with epileptic fits, a back and head unable to stand straight”. Her body returns again, or rather her bodies: Daria’s — «You are Daria. You are of air. The apostrophe transforms you into a light and impalpable substance. In your name a destiny that doesn’t make you an earthly creature, because you’ve never known the force of gravity that calls you to earth. Gravity, which every newborn knows as soon as he comes into the world” – and that of the mother. An encounter, a symbiosis: it is the incorporation, «central concept in the field of dance studies. It has to do with the notion of the body as a place of memory, with transmission and learning, with the passage of information, practices and techniques from body to body, therefore with the ability of the body to create knowledge». Until the merging of mother and daughter: «I am Ada. I will be Of air».

April 1, 2023 (change April 1, 2023 | 21:05)


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