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THE CHRISTMAS TRAM (working title)

Giosuè Calaciura

  • Original Title: IL TRAM DI NATALE
  • Publication date: November 2018
  • Publisher: SELLERIO
  • Country: IT
  • 107 print pages
  • Short stories


  • Epoch: Contemporary
  • Time Period: 21st century
  • Location setting: Italy
  • Themes: PEOPLE facing life, Redemption, SOCIAL CHRONICLES, Social relations, Solidarity, Commitment, Facing failure, PEOPLE facing the extraordinary, Exile, SOCIETY DYSFUNCTIONS, Poverty, Inequality, Exclusion, Violence, Diversity


On Christmas night a tram is traveling through the city and someone has abandoned a baby on one of its seats: during the run, many desperate and marginalized people get on the tram and start to gather around the baby as if he was a new Messiah, a hope of salvation for all of them.


Translation rights sold: World Spanish, Catalan; Germany (option), France (option)

Giosuè Calaciura is an Italian author and journalist. His books include SGOBBO (2002, Prize of Selezione Campiello 2002) and URBI ET ORBI (2006). He is an author of radiodrama and the radio show Fahrenheit on Radiotre. He collaborates with magazines and newspapers.


On Christmas night, a newborn baby boy is abandoned on the seat of the last tram. Stop after stop, travellers get on the tram and their discovery of the child generates a sort of short circuit: this nativity-on-wheels becomes a stage where each passenger is the protagonist. They talk about their lives and their loss, and about the urgent need for a better world that is welcoming and united: the age-old promise of a little piece of Heaven for the marginalised that can be created right here and now. Along with the passengers, the city at night is also a protagonist, with its stories and unexpected «miracles»: a small, anguished sampling of the human race, willing to do whatever it takes – no matter how humiliating – just to survive and leave some trace of their existence. Pedlars selling umbrellas and other trinkets, waiters, prostitutes, nurses, young migrants who the bureaucrats have defined «unaccompanied minors»: people with no security and no voice, rejected, persecuted and downtrodden. Men, women and children who the Bible – today so contradictory and in many ways anachronistic – claims are the chosen ones. A tram trip suspended between the pangs of hunger and the will of God. With a surprising, unexpected ending.

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  • Author’s biography

    Giosuè Calaciura (born 1960) is an Italian author and journalist. In 1998 he published his first novel MALACARNE. His other books include SGOBBO (2002, Prize of Selezione Campiello 2002), URBI ET ORBI (2006), and BORGO VECCHIO (Premio Volponi 2017). He is an author of radiodrama and the radio show Fahrenheit on Radiotre. He collaborates with magazines and newspapers.