I suspect this will be completely lost on the horde of Philistines that inhabit this sparkling corner of the Blogosphere, but UMBERTO ECO HAS A NEW NOVEL OUT!
Entitled The Mysterious Flame of the Queen of Loana, it is described as follows:
Imagine if you woke up one morning and did not remember anything about yourself: who you were, where you are, if you were married or if you had children. And that happens to the protagonist of the new novel by Umberto Eco, a sixty-year old stricken with amnesia following a serious accident. The events described in The Mysterious Flame of the Queen of Loana revolve around the figure of John-Baptist Bodoni, called Yambo, an antiquarian librarian in Milan in a desperate search for his past. He awakes from a long sleep in his hospital bed, a man with perfect recall of who Napoleon was, how to drive a car and open a box of cookies, but who does not know who he or those around him are.
Although he recovers fully from his injuries, Yambo does not recover his memories. To help him retrieve them, his wife brings him to the old house of his family in Solara, between Langhe and Monferrato, where the man spends his days interred in an immense attic listening to old records, leafing through his childhood comic books and reading the letters of his mother.
At first his life slowly begins to return, but the familiar sounds and smells lead his imagination to discover the fanciful life of his youth. He comes back to his consciousness, but only to discover the unforeseeable, for when the dramatic paradox of his life reveals itself, he truly learns who he is.
In anyone else’s hands, this story would probably be so dull as to fail to slice butter, but I have no doubt whatsoever that it will be a masterpiece, as Eco spins the reader’s mind around like a basketball on the overlong index finger of a Harlem Globetrotter, giving it periodic whacks as it whirls by.