Michael Moore

Michael Moore is the translator, most recently, of The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni (Modern Library). His other published translations range across genres, from modern classics to contemporary fiction and nonfiction, including, most recently: The Drowned and the Saved, by Primo Levi; Agostino, by Alberto Moravia; Quiet Chaos, by Sandro Veronesi; and Live Bait, by Fabio Genovesi. He is currently working on a new translation of Moravia’s short story collection, Rome Tales. For many years he served as the chair of the PEN Translation Committee and, subsequently, as the Chair of the Advisory Board of the PEN/Heim Translation Grant. He was also the staff interpreter and translator of the Italian Mission to the United Nations. Recognition of his work includes an NEA Translation Grant, the first translator-in-residence at Princeton University, and a fellowship at the Rockefeller Center in Bellagio, Italy. He received his PhD in Italian studies from New York University, with a thesis on Petrarch commentaries in the fifteenth century.

Federica Deigan

Federica Deigan is native of Rieti, Italy, alumna of Università di Roma La Sapienza (Laurea summa cum laude in English, Russian, French) and of Johns Hopkins University (Ph. D. in Italian Studies); recipient of Ennio Flaiano Prize (2005; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flaiano_Prizes) for her study and English translation of Alessandro Manzoni’s tragedies The Count  of Carmagnola and Adelchis; lecturer of Italian language and literature at the Johns Hopkins University, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Maryland; linguist in Italian and French.


Michael Moore presented his translation of “The Betrothed” by Alessandro Manzoni – in conversation with Federica Deigan 


Sunday March 19th, 2:30 PM ET at the ICS Headquarters (4833 Rugby Ave. Bethesda, MD) + Zoom Webinar

“The first English translation in more than fifty years of Alessandro Manzoni’s masterpiece, a work of foundational Italian literature on par with the Divine Comedy and the Decameron.”—The Wall Street Journal

“An exemplary historical novel” (The New Yorker) from the father of modern Italian literature, The Betrothed receives its first new English-language translation in fifty years, hailed as “a landmark literary occasion” by Jhumpa Lahiri.


The Betrothed is a cornerstone of Italian culture, language, and literature. Published in its final form in 1842, The Betrothed has inspired generations of Italian readers and writers. Giuseppe Verdi composed his majestic Requiem Mass in honor of Manzoni. Italo Calvino called the novel “a classic that has never ceased shaping reality in Italy” while Umberto Eco praised its author as a “most subtle critic and analyst of languages.” The Betrothed has been celebrated by Primo Levi and Natalia Ginzburg, and is one of Pope Francis’s favorite books. But, until now, it has remained relatively unknown to English readers.

In the fall of 1628, two young lovers are forced to flee their village on the shores of Lake Como after a powerful lord prevents their marriage, plunging them into the maelstrom of history. Manzoni draws on actual people and events to create an unforgettable fresco of Italian life and society. In this greatest of historical novels, he takes the reader on a journey through the Spanish occupation of Milan, the ravages of war, class tensions, social injustice, religious faith, and a plague that devastates northern Italy. But within Manzoni’s epic tale, readers will also hear powerful echoes of our own day.

Michael F. Moore’s dynamic new translation of The Betrothed brings to life Manzoni’s timeless literary masterpiece.