General Fiction

Ci sono mani che odorano di buono

(Some Hands Smell of Goodness)

Casa Editrice Longanesi&C., January 2023, pp.320


Bina, an octogenarian left on her own, and Marta, a twenty-five-year-old from a district in the city’s outskirts, who puts her up, are the unforgettable protagonists of this debut novel about loneliness and frailty, that allows us to rediscover the joy of caring for someone.

One winter afternoon, eighty-three year-old Bina is left on her own. She is waiting for her grandson Fabio in the Cinghio park, in the outskirts of a respectable town. Marta, twenty-five, watches her through her window, sees her grow stiff on a broken bench, and decides to put her up that night and the one after that. And the one after that, too.

All the residents in the building gather around her: Gianna, the neighbour who talks to an imaginary sister, Ljuba, old Maria’s carer, and Benny, a security guard and Marta’s childhood friend.

A couple of streets further up, Fabio, Bina’s grandson, is in serious trouble. So he knocks on the door of Genny, the prostitute, a damaged, disillusioned creature of the Cinghio district, who picks up other people’s pieces without asking questions.

Bina and Fabio spend days living parallel lives, in limbo, in a harsh, unfamiliar place, waiting for something to happen.

And something will happen. It will shuffle the cards and deal new cards to the players in a haphazard,  American-style game of poker, with an exceptional croupier: fate.

Casa Editrice Longanesi&C., January 2023, pp.320

  • “Delicate, elemental prose.”

    Katia D’Addona, Corriere della sera

  • “vivid, physical and cinematic prose carried by a voice that has a natural tendency towards storytelling (…) Faces, dialogues and actions that are profoundly credible.” 

    La Repubblica

Sara Gambazza

Sara Gambazza lives in the countryside with a patient husband, three unruly children and four dogs. She works as a nurse, reads a lot and sleeps little. Whenever she writes, she “leaps over there”, where practicalities aren’t everything, where thinking doesn’t mean doing nothing, but something. She has written this novel while remembering a wrecked adolescence with tenderness and a hint of nostalgia.

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