Titles in our catalogue
Il rovescio dell'abito
The Lining of the Coat
A glimpse at the extraordinary life of Marquise Luisa Casati Stampa, who chose to live her life as “a work of art”.
Highly educated, witty, eccentric, full of life, wealthy, extravagant, intelligent, much wooed, an avid collector and patron of the arts, Luisa Casati was all that and much more.
A journey through eccentricity, lovers and a passion for clothes that led to ruin, in a game between building on a true story and interpreting a possible truth.
In February 1932, in her house outside Paris, Marquise Luisa Casati Stampa, the wealthiest woman in Europe, receives a visit from her lawyer, Milanese Giuseppe Bassi, who has come to announce the collapse of her fortune. Her huge estate is being seized and, within a few months – eight, to be precise, Bassi tells her dramatically – she “will not have even a rock left to rest her head on”.
Born in 1881 to a family of industrialists who owned a gigantic fortune, at the age of nineteen she married Marquis Camillo Casati Stampa, a Milanese, from whom she separated. The Marquise led a life of extravagance and excess, frequented the art world, bewitching artists of the standing of Gabriele D’Annunzio, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and Man Ray, for whom she was an inspiration and friend, as well as possibly an occasional lover.
Caught on the edge of misery, in which she would live for the next twenty-five years (she died poor and alone in 1957, in London), she revisits her human adventure in flashbacks, in moments involving her ex-husband, her lawyer, who assists her during this dramatic change in status, and the dressmaker who has always followed her love of a sophisticated style and her total originality, wholly independent of any fashion
La Nuova Terra
The New Land
A chance trip to the Amazon rainforest and a revelation through a ritual with a medicinal plant, the ayahuasca. A sharp, biting journey towards maturity, one that turns into an earnest universal appeal to respect the world in which we live.
Persuaded by his cousin Nur, to whom he’s never been able to say no, Leone arrives in the heart of the Amazon. Soon, he is hurled into a world outside time, where people are healed with ceremonies where they take ayahuasca, a psychoactive decoction that has many therapeutic properties. Through psychedelic mental journeys, visions inside his own body and thanks to enlightening conversations with the ayahuasca‘s all-too-human voice, Leone embarks on the hardest battle there is: the one against himself and the demons he’s been fighting all his life. The lessons he receives make him question everything: his work as a television writer, a stagnant relationship, an identity built around toxic masculinity and the very values of a society that chooses to keep blindly heading towards self-destruction despite a heralded climate disaster. Leone’s is an involuntary shamanic journey that is both reluctant and – despite himself – often funny. He hits rock bottom before getting back up again, but the courage of looking reality in the face may teach him to live in harmony with his own nature and Nature.
La crisi colpisce anche di sabato
A Crisis Can Also Come On a Saturday
A sardonic and intense polyphonic novel in which three different characters have to face the remnants of past disappointments in a more-than-ever uncertain present. Three totally unconnected stories that unexpectedly converge.
A Saturday evening. In Rome, from the window of the family apartment, Adriano, a pensioner, watches the setting summer sun and the sunset of his own life, which he spent amid the ideals of a failed revolution, the vague promises of comfort and a marriage that left in its wake nothing but regret. In Milan, Gioia, the CEO of a multinational company and a neglected wife and mother, takes advantage of a moment of solitude to catch up with a backlog of work. Vodka and the recollection of lost loves keep her company, but the past is ready to show itself again. Meanwhile, in Ferrara, a group of young people on the threshold of adulthood go out for a pizza after a trip to the cinema. Hopes and disappointments, couples and singles: everything seems already decided. Three cities and three social conditions united by a common thread, a moral, material, individual and collective crisis that might be eternal and without solution. But, from that Saturday evening, nobody’s life will be the same again.
Giorni di collera e di annientamento
Days of Rage and Annihilation
A humorous, ruthless novel, an uncompromising satire filled with absurd, grotesque and all-too-human characters.
It’s the story of Doctor Lunfardo, who dreamt of becoming a singer but won the Strega literature prize instead.
Doctor Lunfardo, AKA Don Fifì, dreamt of becoming a Bing Crosby-style crooner but, instead, wrote a hugely successful book and won the Strega prize.
Unfortunately, he got sucked into the terrible world of publishing and his life was ruined. He’s now trying in vain to find a little peace on the shore of Lake Garda, and is besieged by pain-in-the-neck people, relatives, nightmares and hypochondria. Set in provincial Italy during the global pandemic, the story sees countless improbable topics revolve around our “hero”: brazen Neo-Fascist prostitutes riding in Zündapp Wehrmacht sidecars, elderly dentists heading for dementia and still loyal to their pedal-operated drills, demoniacal swamp sirens, railway tramps who were once the kings of luxury bathroom fittings, pilgrims obsessed with Lourdes and sanctuaries around Lake Garda, stalker interns, improbable suicides, conceited aspiring female writers, high-maintenance ménages à trois led by jealous celluloid dolls… A true circus. Permunian gives us a humorous, ruthless novel, an uncompromising satire filled with absurd, grotesque, all-too-human humans.
A quality debut novel, powerful language that bluntly narrates the lives of two frail, damaged brothers, the victims of seclusion and degradation, tortured by a sense of guilt that rules over their lives, and which they must face.
English sample available
In the imaginary outskirts of a tiny Sicilian village, Antonio and Paolo, two brothers aged nineteen and twenty-two, have been living alone since their father died and their mother left home. Together, they have built an everyday routine that apparently works despite its extreme precariousness, a present in which, however, there is no room for developing future projects and they are constantly overwhelmed by the struggle for survival. It is the summer. Antonio is looking for a job and Paolo trying to keep his. Hallucinating nights with friends, parties, days spent by the sea, evenings of drink, sex and drugs. Then, one seemingly quiet day, something snaps. As though by some petty astral conspiracy, old skeletons leap out of the cupboard and shallowly buried past demons resurface: the young men’s mother returns after running away from her violent husband years earlier, an old, a dormant love comes knocking at the door of one of the brothers and crimes never atoned appear on the horizon of the other…
On the distant outskirts of Rome, three young men are bound by a common destiny that involves exclusion, oppression, friendship, love and violence. It’s this violence – the result of their desire for release – that will inevitably lead to revolt.
In a nameless outlying district, Manuel, Andrea and Abdoulaye lead a precarious existence. They are first- and second-generation Italians with talent, aspirations and past lives they don’t talk about. For them, the city is only a backdrop, while daily life is stuck in the ruthless hierarchy of the district, where the difference between those who can cultivate their ambitions and those who are irreversibly condemned to the margins is distinct. The friendship that binds them is their only staple, at least until loves comes to break them up –love for Donatella, a seventeen-year-old whose parents have sacrificed their roots and identities in favour of an anonymous little house in a residential area that borders the district. Her anger will trigger the crackdown everyone expects. And when violence does come, it claims its victims but also grants a small glimmer of hope for salvation.
A happy family. An imploding couple. Two sisters, a mother who leaves.
An unbreakable bond that helps overcome pain.
An intimate, feminine novel brimming with light.
French sample available
Maddalena, the elder, is shy, serious and reserved. Nina, only slightly younger, is attractive, unpredictable, charming, difficult and a prisoner of her own egocentricity. The two sisters built their childhood and adolescence around a deep void, an absence that’s hard to accept. Even now, after many years, they try to fill it with running, long walks, volleys of words and WhatsApp messages which, from Paris to New York, always end up taking them back to Rome, to a house with a terrace overlooking Villa Pamphili, where their strange, symbiotic and wild life took shape. It’s to Rome that Maddi, forever huddled in her shell, decides to return, fleeing the roles that, first her sister, then her family, have imposed on her. Alone at last with herself and her memories, she drops her defences and, as she relives the locations of the past, swaps parts and opens up to life’s surprises.
A story of love and abandonment which, like all life stories, presents only questions without answers. Moreover, it uses the happy yardstick of literature to measure the distance between the original injury and the peace always and only experienced in maturity.
Maria Grazia Calandrone
Splendi come vita
As Radiant as Life Itself
A story of tormented love between an adoptive mother and her daughter.
One of Italy’s best-loved women poets tells the story of her own childhood, when she was abandoned, and that of her even harder, tormented relationship with her adoptive mother – a crucial figure in this tale and enquiry into love.
A well-known news item that featured for weeks on the front pages of Italian newspapers in the 1960s marks the beginning of Maria Grazia Calandrone’s story. In 1965, an eight-month-old baby was found in the middle of the Villa Borghese park in Rome. In the days that followed, the sad circumstances surrounding her abandonment were discovered. Her mother, who’d been unfaithful to her husband, and the baby’s father had committed suicide by throwing themselves into the Tiber. After less than a month in an orphanage, the little girl was adopted by Giacomo Calandrone, the then leader of the Italian Communist Party, and his wife, who was a teacher.
The author opts for the first time for fiction to tell us the most difficult story of her life: not about being abandoned but about her rapport with her adoptive mother: a loving but also oppressive and cruel relationship.
La solitudine del sovversivo
The Solitude of the Dissident
An intense memoir in which the author, the director of Garage Olimpo and Hijos, writes about a life spent between Italy and Latin America, constantly searching for justice and freedom. A personal account and an in-depth look at the tragedy of military dictatorship in Argentina.
Marco Bechis transports us to the dark night of his youth spent in Argentina during military dictatorship, when he, a young man from a good, cosmopolitan family, joined the secret opposition movement Montoneros (subsequently, in Italy, he got close to Lotta Continua) until his abduction in 1977. Then came imprisonment, torture and a desperate attempt to free him on the part of his companions and his parents. An effort which, through a series of lucky coincidences, had a positive outcome. And so began the second part of a difficult but thrilling life, the return to Italy as a free man, travels, experiencing an occupied house, and film school. Then there was a series of meetings, clashes and revelations until his first feature and after that the making of films that were crucial to him and to the Argentian people, ravaged by an ideology-based genocide never before seen in the West.
Through his work, Bechis has powerfully demanded the right to justice and, in the end, many of those responsible were sentenced for their crimes partly thanks to his testimony.
Camere e stanze
Rooms and Bedrooms
A collection of 21 stories in which Francesco Pecoraro exhibits with his extraordinary prose a gallery of characters – emblems of the human condition and of the profound changes in the contemporary world – who are analysed almost clinically, but not without aching, deep compassion.
In a dystopian future dominated by Samsung and where the only human interaction allowed is at a Global Table, there live characters as imaginative as they are emblematic of the casting adrift of humankind: like Sandro and Clara, who no longer know how to talk to each other; like Fregni and the unwitting violence of adolescence. There are also artists trying to bring together art and life, uprooted creatures and failed attempts at communication. The setting is the imaginary City of the Sea, the City of God, abandoned furnaces, districts and workplaces as a social mosaic. The themes are the violence of the class war, the struggle for life and the perennial battle of everyone against everyone.
Costanza Rizzacasa d'Orsogna
Storia di Milo, il gatto che andò al Polo Sud
The Story of Milo, the Cat Who Went to the South Pole
How do a disabled little cat, a young woman and a penguin manage to reach the South Pole by themselves? A fairy tale for all ages about friendship, courage and freedom.
Three years have passed since their lucky meeting and Milo and his mum have relocated to a little house by the sea. Although he’s never completely learnt to jump or walk straight, the increasingly self-confident little cat dares to take long walks to the beach, where one day he meets an emperor penguin chick, snatched away from the South Pole by unscrupulous smugglers. Feeling sorry for him, Milo decides to help. So he persuades his mum to embark on a long journey to save his new friend. From Rome to Buenos Aires, then down to Tierra del Fuego and finally Antarctica, Milo and the young woman discover a world that’s increasingly threatened by humans. A journey to the edge of our fears, during which Milo meets animals who are fierce only in appearance – among them a killer whale, a condor and a jaguar – who have a story to tell and much need of friendship. Our big-hearted little cat does not shy away and discovers that, if we truly believe it, nothing is impossible.
Se tu fossi vero
If You Were Real – The Story of the Escaping Bear
Where does a bear go when it escapes? And why does it escape? In this fairy tale for all ages, Paola Mastrocola tells us about a cuddly toy that turns into a real animal out of friendship: the single, powerful feeling that can light up our roaming.
Bear has been running away all his life because he dreams to see Milco again, the little boy who once asked for a bear as a present: not a teddy bear but a real bear… Can a soft toy become a real bear? For love, to make a friend happy all is possible. You just need to want it enough. You just have to go and see MOP, the teddy bears’ wizard. It doesn’t matter if life becomes complicated after that, and if the dream comes true once life is almost over: fairy tales have just one, eternal present.
The important thing is to keep your wish alive, to go back, meet again, and start all over.
Non dimenticarlo mai
Don't Ever Forget
Is it too late to take stock of your life when you’re pushing fifty? Is it too late to want a child?
In this new novel by Federica Bosco, an author who has sold over 1 million copies of her books, Giulia, the protagonist, must learn to take risks in order to finally live fully and reach out for what fate has in store for her. It might even be happiness…
Giulia is about to blow out forty-nine candles on her cake when she suddenly feels dissatisfied, as though she hasn’t done anything of consequence in her life. And then there’s that never previously experienced desire that’s calling to her louder and louder: she wants a child – she who has never thought of motherhood. Even though her female friends cannot understand her and her partner doesn’t know how to tell her it’s insane. “It’s too late” are the words Giulia hears echoing in their conversations and now she is no longer able to decide between yielding to the majority view and trying anyway. But what Giulia doesn’t know is that destiny is never written in stone. That she holds many different cards in her hand. They could be those we’ve chosen from her deck, the ones we want with all our hearts. Or they could be others, that are very different from what we’ve always imagined, and that surprise us. Because there isn’t just one road to happiness and the only way to find the right one is taking a risk. Because, maybe, the best day of our lives is yet to come.
Io non ti lascio solo
I Won't Leave You Alone
Two little boys, a great friendship, a secret kept for over thirty years.
A tale that combines a coming-of-age novel and a detective story. It tells with the kind of delicacy and charm only fairy-tales have of the relationship between parents and children, grief and loss, but also of the force and tenacity destined to survive over time. Until the final, unsettling and overwhelming coup de théâtre.
Just as he is about to retire from the force, Marshal De Benedettis makes a discovery destined to disturb his peace of mind. Two dusty diaries surface from the the cellar of the old house of Guelfo Tabacci – a cantankerous mountain dweller and suspect in the case of his son’s disappearance, thirty years earlier. They were written by Filo e Rullo, two little boys who, during a summer, a long time ago, went searching for their beloved dog, Birillo, and so reached Guelfo’s mountain hut. And there, the children discovered a disconcerting, painful truth that has remained buried for too long.
Micaela Miljian Savoldelli
Se due che come noi
The likes of us two
An uplifting and inspirational novel about travel, love and courage.
Se due che come noi is an autobiographical novel, a tale of love and rebirth to the ends of the earth.
An ode to the courage of changing one’s life even when it seems impossible.
The novel, inspired by the author’s life, is the love story between Selvaggia and Jules, from the evening when they first meet in Florence to their relocation to Paris where they face the ghosts of their past, the difficulties of adult life, their formation as human beings and in particular as parents. When they think they’ve succeeded, however, a traumatic experience propels them back into the past and they are once again in Florence, a city they want to escape from. That’s when they decide to follow their instinct and embark on a journey with a one-way ticket and start to lead a reckless life while travelling around the world, first with two children, then three.
From Seoul to Las Vegas, from California to India, from the frangrance-filled East to the bright colours of Guatemala, the two young people learn to build a future, to support themselves financially and to watch their family grow. Moreover, they tackle not only the challenges of everyday life but also the diversity of a thousand places and a thousand nations without ever losing their passion for discovery or their inquisitiveness. A novel full of laughter, tears, colours, kilometres and dust – in other words it is an ode to life, courage, freedom and the power of love.
Storia di Luis Sepúlveda e del suo gatto Zorba
The Story of Luis Sepúlveda and his Cat Zorba
This is the warm, powerful story of the Chilean writer Luis Sepúlveda as told to a cat, written by his long-time translator.
Born on a beautiful spring day in a hotel in the land on the edge of the world, Luis – also known as Lucho – begins his tale, starting from his grandparents and his childhood in Santiago, before recollecting his first love and encounter with Carmen Yáñez, his lifelong partner. The cat listens to him talk about the enthusiasm at the election of a president called Allende and the tragic coup that forces him into exile, about his long stay in the Amazon with the Shuar people, and about his arrival in Hamburg, where, surrounded by a brand-new reality, he makes up the story of the Seagull to help his three children fall asleep.
This is a fairy tale that becomes an exemplary tribute from friend and translator Ilide Carmignani to a writer and to the love of literature that forms bonds. It’s a book consisting of different layers, a book within a book, a story within a story, because translating is stepping into someone else’s footprints.
Fiore di roccia
Flower of the Rocks
A novel about an important, long-forgotten chapter of history. The story of Le Portatrici (Bearers), women of all ages who, during the First World War, in the theatre of war in Carnia, in the north-eastern Italian region of Friuli, were called upon to help the men in the trenches by carrying up food supplies and ammunition first, then dead bodies down the mountain.
English sample available
The theatre of war of the Carnia region is a series of sharp peaks, defence lines isolated on the summits and thousands of young men driven to exhaustion. The command turns to the local population with a desperate plea for anyone to help them. The women from the neighbouring valleys respond to the appeal. Women of all ages, from thirteen to sixty, accustomed to hard work, and who, for centuries, have carried heavy wicker baskets on their backs, but are also used to a life of hardship that has forged resilient spirits and minds with exceptional moral fibre. Among them, there is brave Agata, who would sooner eat cheese crusts than deprive her invalid father of even just a soup made of herbs. There is the exuberant Viola, who, for the love of an Alpino artillery man, carries forty-two kilos’ worth of projectiles on her back. There is Lucia, a mother of four with quiet strength, the point of reference for everybody else. They are friends, companions. They know these mountains better than anyone else and are the protagonists of this novel. A story of women, of hard work, of compassion, and of hope.
L'inverno dei Leoni
The Lions' Winter
The second and concluding part of the saga, which reveals in full the myth of the Florios, making us relive an era, a world and a destiny that has no equal.
The Florios, the Lions of Sicily, have won. Gone are the days of the modest putìa in central Palermo, the sacks of spices, of Paolo and Ignazio, who went there to escape poverty, with determination as their only wealth. Now, they own buildings and factories, ships and tonnaras, silks and jewels. Now, the entire city looks up to them, honours them and fears them. And young Ignazio fears no one. The destiny of Casa Florio has been his destiny since birth, it runs through his veins and drives him beyond Sicily, to Rome and political intrigues, to Europe and its courts, to the naval dominion of the Mediterranean, to buying the entire Aegadian Islands archipelago. Ignazio has a dazzling empire but a heart of ice, because, for the glory of Casa Florio, he had to give up the love that would have capsized his destiny. A love whose shadow never leaves him, even to the very end…
His son, Ignazziddu, on the other hand, is afraid when, at just over the age of twenty, he inherits all his father has built. He’s afraid because he doesn’t want to be enslaved to a name, to sacrifice himself on the family altar. He does his best, however, facing a world that’s changing too fast, shaken by new, violent and uncontrollable powers. He does his best but realises that having Florio blood isn’t enough to stand out. He needs something more, something his grandfather and his father had but which he lacks. But where, how has he gone wrong?
The Florios win everything, then lose everything. And yet this is only a part of their extraordinary story. Because this father and son, so different, so remote, have at their sides two women who are also very different and yet both exceptional: Giovanna, Ignazio’s wife, hard and fragile like crystal, filled with passion but starved of love, and Franca, Ignazziddu’s wife, the most beautiful woman in Europe, whose gilded life is shattered by the blows of a cruel fate.
It is these two women who trace the true trajectory – exciting and dreadful, glorious and tragic – of a family who, for a long instant, lit up the world. It is they who will make us understand why, after so many years, the Florios live on, unique and unforgettable, as the heartbeat of an island and of a city.
Le donne dei Calabri di Montebello
The Women of Calabri from Montebello
A new Italian family saga.
A highly entertaining historical novel, a perfect mix of fantasy and reality, which follows the story of three generations, in particular that of three women, products of their land and time, but also free and nonconformist, strong and romantic, capable of pursuing their dreams and fulfilling their destiny.
German sample available
Anno Domini 1657. Elisabetta Calabri of Montebello, seventeen, lives among the Appenine forests between Tuscany and Romagna and dreams of a courtly life in Florence. The Marquess Giangiacomo, her father, is suspected of heresy through being a follower of Galileo. One July morning a horseman rides into Villa Calabri: Filippo Salimbeni, a noble Florentine physician on his way to Bologna on behalf of the Grand Duke of Tuscany. At dinner, Filippo meets Betta: it’s love at first sight and Betta can finally make her dream of moving to Florence come true. Only the Grand Duchy’s capital is not exactly how she had imagined. The freedom she had enjoyed soon becomes a distant memory in the bigoted atmosphere of the Salimbeni household and in the stale air of a court and city in full decadence, and with an increasingly distant husband absorbed in his ambition as a physician. Her aunt, a nun, is always on her side, and to help her, sends an old – and, for a nun, unexpected – acquaintance: Ludovico Manobruna, a courtier and libertine, thanks to whom Elisabetta becomes known and valued in the city, so she can picture a radiant future for herself and the son she is about to give birth to and who fills her and Filippo with joy. But, in the “iron century”, prejudice and stifling convention become intertwined with individuals’ destinies, endangering their happiness and very lives…
La regina senza corona
Queen Without a Crown
A novel about Margaret of Austria. A woman destined to conquer the hearts of kings and alter the destinies of entire nations.
1483 – Margaret is only three years old when her father, Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, pledges her hand in marriage to Charles VIII, King of France, in order to put an end to the conflict between France and Flanders. Carefree, the duchess grows up in the spendid castle of Amboise until Charles stipulates a more advantagious marriage agreement, so Margaret is forced to return to Flanders, where she can finally devote herself body and soul to her great passion: art. However, the Holy Roman Emperor summons her back to her political duties and to a new marriage alliance that leads her to wear the Spanish crown. Far away from home once again, despite a brief period of happiness with her husband, the Prince of Asturias, Margaret is soon widowed. Returning home without a crown, Margaret gradually learns that a woman can be the author of her own fate and decides to become “queen” of the arts. Only the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire cannot accept that she should relinquish her destiny as queen… Set amid love affairs, palace intrigues and a great passion for art, this book is the portrayal of a brave woman who defied the rules of her era and showed everyone the qualities truly necessary to being a queen.