Talking to Antonio Graniero
Interviews

Talking to Antonio Graniero

Antonio is an Italian editor, proofreader, copywriter, and translator. If you follow Antonio on Instagram (instagram.com/ antoniograniero) you’re the lucky recipient of daily tidbits about books, forgotten writers and all kinds of hole-in-the-wall shops from over the world. This guy is an avid reader, an overall enthusiast and critic of everything that has to do with the written word. When he’s not behind his desk at Het Industriegebouw you can find Antonio at his favourite bookshop Antiquariaat Zwaanshals in Noord, we decided to join him there and ask him some questions.

Born in the South of Italy in a small town close to Naples, as a teenager, Antonio could not get his hands on a copy of WIRED magazine: a bigger city was calling, and Milan answered. He decided to enrol at the university to study Italian Literature. While studying, he became interested in publishing, through Twitter he started to follow people who worked for publishing houses. “A world that seemed so far away suddenly was at my fingertips; I could converse with these people.”

The first book I became obsessed with was the series of children’s horror fiction novels called Goosebumps; I remember reading it and quickly becoming frustrated by it as I could not relate to anything that was happening. My dad often talks about the fact that I was always reading, I don’t exactly remember my younger days going down like that, I remember watching much television. After Goosebumps I moved on to Harry Potter and fell in love with the catchiness of the writing. From there on I started to construct my collection of books with a more classic approach. I believe reading makes you a better person. I have a routine that I read first thing in the morning, after lunch and late at night, it keeps me focused and in balance.”

Are there specific titles you believe everyone should have?
“A classic, what I mean with is a book where the meaning of life is explained/questioned and pushes you to examine what it is to be a human being. That could be a masterpiece like Tolstoy or Dostoevsky.”

For me, it would be Rob Lowe’s autobiography
“Any book cannot be your kind of writing style, that’s why it’s okay to move on and find what your type is. It’s okay to contradict yourself with what you like and dislike. Take the contemporary novel A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara; it has mastered the mundaneness of life so well. It takes the context of time out of its time. The characters struggle with the question of what to have for dinner equally hard as to how to rise from trauma.”

When can we expect the Great Italian novel from you?
“Mentally I’m working on it. The most important part is to bypass all the clichés and not to write anything boring. The question I ask myself often is how I can show the everyday life concerning economic, political crisis and to show a guy who’s struggling with his ambitions and the conditions he lives in as a backdrop? It’s just a thought. It’s about everyone but more as a critique of our times and how we condition ourselves to believe we are truly special.”

Photography by Daleen Bloemers