Titles in our catalogue
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.
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.
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 famiglia degli altri
Other Peoples' Families
A universally relevant story of female independence and family models that change over time.
Thirty-year-old Marta lives in Paris with her partner, Antoine. Together, they decide to build their relationship as a couple on freedom and trust, outside all conventions.
When she has to return to Padua, her home town, after the sudden death of her grandmother, who embodied a female role model as wife and mother with anachronistic perfection, Marta finds herself immersed in a family and social atmosphere that prompts her to question her certainties.
Behind the façade of middle-class decency, errors, conflicts and secrets begin to surface and she realises that perhaps no family is perfect but that each one is imperfect in its own way. Only by accepting this truth can Marta really mature.
Complice la notte
The Complicity of the Night
A portrayal of Maria Judina, one of the greatest Russian pianists of the 20th Century, fearless as a woman and an intellectual. A portrayal backed up by rigorous historical documentation and engaging narrative freedom. The story of an artist during the darkest period of Stalinism, the clash with a dictator who, although opposing her for her religious beliefs, nevertheless appreciated her art.
Little is known in the West about the life of the great Russian pianist Maria Judina (1899-1970), or her rebellion against the Soviet regime because of her devout Catholicism and great intellectual freedom as an artist. An extraordinary figure whose encounters with poets, musicians and writers (from Gorky to Mandelstam, from Akhmatova to Pasternak, to Bakhtin, Florensky and Shostakovich), made an impact on the cultural life of the time. There’s the legendary episode in which Stalin listens to Mozart’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 23 at night and is so moved by Judina’s performance that the following day he demands to have the record, creating terror and confusion at the radio station because the concert was not recorded. Consequently, the musicians, the pianist and the conductor have to be summoned back in order to “create” in just a few hours, a fake first performance to send to Stalin. He would listen to this record until the day of his death.
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.
C'era una volta adesso
Once Upon a Time There Was Now
Mattia is eight years old in Spring 2020, when the world shuts itself at home because of a virus. In the distant future when he is telling this story, his perspective becomes once again that of a child as he recalls the salient moments of that epoch-making lockdown, remembering what it meant for his family.
An intense, empathic story set during the latest months.
Andrei, Mattia’s dad, comes to Milan because the following day, 10 March, he and Mattia’s mum are getting divorced. It’s a shame that the evening news on television informs him and his family that not only the courts but the entire country are going to be closed. Instead of running away to his new girlfriend in Rome, Andrei decides to stay in Milan so he can be closer to his son. However, Mattia wants none of this father who abandoned him when he was three years old; as a matter of fact, he hates him. In spite of himself, the boy starts living in the microcosm of his everyday life turned upside down, with school downsized to a computer, neighbours singing from their balconies and a father he hates locked in with him. Among mysteries to be solved and surprises around the corner, the lockdown becomes for Mattia partly an opportunity to take a close look at things and realise that perhaps growing up also means trusting other people, even your worst enemies.
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
Ballando sotto il Monsone
Dancing in the Monsoon
An uplifting and inspirational novel about travel, love and courage.
Ballando sotto il monsone 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.
Corinna De Cesare
Ciao per sempre
Bye For Ever
A young woman, her return to Puglia and a family secret that alters her view of the past. And perhaps the future. A fresh, original debut novel about how to free oneself from the past, come to terms with grief and try to become a new person.
Margherita is over thirty but she still struggles to put together her life as a woman. The death of her grandmother suddenly calls her back to her origins and her land, Puglia. She has to attend the funeral in Collina d’oro [Golden Hill] , where she grew up in the ’90s, with lands where they grow grain for the town, lands that give this town “that fairy-tale and slightly silly name”. She returns to her old house, her family, her childhood friend, her first love, and a stranger who finds the right moment to slip a piece of crumpled white paper in her hand, a piece of paper that says “These letters are from your grandmother. Please don’t be afraid.” A terrible family secret is about to emerge, forcing Margherita to come to terms with her memories, her roots and herself.
La storia vera 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.
Nessuno scrive al Federale
No One Writes to the Regional Party Secretary
Nessuno scrive al Federale brings Marshal Ernesto Maccadò back on the scene. He is now feeling increasingly more at home in the town where he was sent with his Maristella – and where they had first felt like a couple of aliens – especially since the birth of his first child. Seen from up close, however, Bellano is far from being a quiet place, and it’s hard to dismiss the suspicion that a certain degree of madness reigns there.
The shores of Lake Como are dotted with towns and villages at the foot of mountains where not much happens. Except for Bellano. Over the past year and a half or so, the Secretary of the Regional Fascist Party has already had to replace two local branch secretaries. The first one to be fired was Bortolo Piazzacampo, nicknamed Tartina, because of an event connected with the eccentricities of a bull called Benito, where Tartina stood out for his stupidity. The second was Aurelio Trovatore, who decided to get married in Castellanza, choosing love over the fatal destiny of the Fascist motherland. A certain Caio Scafandro has now been appointed, a hunk of a man who resorts to his shovel-sized hands to drive his point across. Will he have the strength of mind – since there’s no lack of physical strength – to uphold his office? After all, there’s more than one skeleton in Scafandro’s cupboard. And more than one person knows that. All it would take is a couple of words whispered in the Regional Secretary’s ear and Bellano’s third local Fascist secretary would end up like his predecessors. This is why Scafandro has taken countermeasures, heedless of the fact that these cross into the land of law breaking, presided over by the police – the land occupied by Marshal Ernesto Maccadò. Having recently become the father of Rocco, his first child, on the morning of 20 November 1929, the marshal narrowly avoids an accident when a metal object is hurled at him in the street by a possible murderer. Who can this idiot possibly be?
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.
I leoni di Sicilia
The Florios – Sicily's Lions
THE BESTSELLING ITALIAN BOOK OF 2019
#1 Top Ten Bestseller List after 1 year from the publication date
Over 700,000 copies sold– 33 editions
The saga of a great Sicilian family who, in just over a century, experienced fame, wealth and power, but was also engulfed in love affairs and betrayals, dark secrets and cruel acts of revenge. A story both epic and intimate, bathed in the colors of the Mediterranean and sparked by overwhelming passions. An extraordinary story, told by an extraordinary writer.
Full English translation available
From the 1800s to the 1930s, the Florios are the «uncrowned kings of Sicily»: restless and ambitious, single-minded and determined to be richer and more powerful than anybody else. They start as grindingly poor spice sellers, but they quickly move on to tuna fishing, to foundries and finally to the Marsala wine that conquers the world. Shrewd businessmen and entrepreneurs, the Florio men are also stubborn, arrogant, philanderers and slaves to passions and they often find themselves forced to choose between ambition and sacrifice. Strong and resolute, the Florio women may be caring mothers, alluring mistresses or wounded wives, but they always strive to find their place in the world. From Vincenzo, the founder of the Florio empire, to Ignazio, his grandson, who squanders the family fortune on legendary parties; from Giovanna, iron-willed but love-starved, to the legendary Donna Franca, idolized by kings and poets, the author draws on history with both hands, dispels the mists of time and restores the Florios’ extraordinary, contradictory and fascinating vitality.
Lontano da casa
Far From Home
A highly topical noir in which the protagonists, two very different women, united in their search for the truth, investigate the murder of an immigrant. The novel is set on the outskirts of a city, which, like any other outskirts of a city, is seething with poverty, violence and forced coexistence, but where there are still people willing to hold out a hand to you.
When she comes home after a day at work, Jasmina Nazeri does not suspect that there are police officers waiting for her. A black man has been killed, they say. He is naked, without any ID and she may be the only one able to identify him since she knows everybody in that district. In that tormented body, she recognises Taiwo and even though she hadn’t seen him after their relationship ended, she knows he wasn’t the kind to keep bad company. How can such a horrible fate befall him? And how do you obtain justice for someone who, as far as Society is concerned, does not exist? Jasmina is a young woman of Iranian origin: she knows how hard it is to get respect, opportunities or even just to be heard. This is why she devotes her life to helping others, teaching Italian to immigrants and doing whatever she can for those who need it. The same may not be said for Pandora Magrelli, a police inspector with a different concept of tolerance and an astounding lack of sensitivity to pain. Each for reasons of her own, they intend to discover the truth, even if this means becoming allies.
A relentless plot and an extraordinary ability to probe the depths of the human spirit and of our society.
Il passato non si cancella
The Past Cannot be Erased
A murder-suicide; the accidental fall of a nosey doorwoman; a tenant who dies of a heart attack. These are the ingredients of this crime novel – full of possible culprits and red herrings – set in Milan. The investigator is young Inspector Anita Landi, determined to find the truth despite all the powers standing in her way.
On a warm June day, Milan is shocked by three deaths: Luigi Cortesi and Greta Kampf (the former wife of a plastic surgeon) – apparently a murder-suicide in an elegant apartment in one of the city’s most attractive streets – and the doorwoman (accidental death?) of a nearby building. Anita Landi, a young police inspector, starts to investigate, certain that these three cases are connected. Opposed by colleagues, who have her removed from the enquiry, Anita nevertheless follows her lead. She is helped by Giacomo Valli, the manager of the two buildings, a kind, calm man who lets her stay at his home, as well as by his friend and fellow tenant Francesco Gazzola, a prestigious, respected lawyer who is in the midst of a strong identity crisis.
Anita has to find her way through a complex investigation where nothing is as it seems and everyone is a suspect: wealthy, ruthless brokers, sweet old ladies, unscrupulous plastic surgeons, parents searching for justice, angry, doggedly immature children, confident bloggers, police informers and secret service agents. Because it’s in the moneyed, elegant Milan that counts that a murderer hides, ready to strike again.
The Emperor's Umbrella
A crime novel set in an unusual environment, in Japan, where a mixed-race detective investigates a singular murder with just one clue that incriminates the only person in the world he can neither question nor arrest: the Emperor.
A compelling debut novel that contains the beauty and elusiveness typical of an ancient culture, while not shying away from its deepest flaws.
When faced with a murder victim killed with an ordinary, transparent plastic umbrella, like the hundreds seen in the streets of Tokyo on rainy days, Chief Inspector Takeshi Nishida has little prospect of solving the case. Both the victim and the murder weapon are too anonymous. It is therefore with little hope that he has the object examined for any relevant fingerprints. The test results are, however, beyond the imaginable. There is a clear, well-defined fingerprint. It belongs to the Emperor of Japan. And so what seemed like a run-of-the-mill murder suddenly turns into a very delicate, complex conundrum. One, by one, Chief Inspector Nishida must identify all the fleeting owners of this umbrella, hunting for an answer that is as hoped for as it is dreaded.
Una donna in guerra
A Woman at War
A compelling new adventure of Aba Abate, mother, wife and secret agent.
The breaking point between two apparently incompatible lives is approaching.
The boundary between Aba Abate, wife and mother, and Ice, a high-level Secret Service operative, grows thinner and thinner. She no longer knows if she will be able to hold together the pieces of her double life the way she has always done – not after discovering something her husband is concealing from her: a revelation concerning her, which has shaken the delicate foundations of her life, and not after losing – while trying to arrest two terrorists as part of her work – the only man who saw her for what she is: both Aba and Ice. What Aba doesn’t know, however, and Ice struggles to discover, is that in the silence of the desert the General, hidden under his anonymous balaclava, is about to trigger a plan that could throw the West into turmoil. All this at the cost of just one life. And it will be up to her to decide which one.
Una donna normale
An Ordinary Woman
A strong, exciting protagonist.
An ordinary and yet extraordinary woman.
A secret she cannot reveal even to her family.
English sample available
Aba Abate is the mother of two teenagers and the wife of Paolo, a naturally optimist advertising man. Aba does everything in her power to keep her family united although this is not always easy. Almost never easy, actually, because of her job. Because Aba Abate is also Ice: a spy and not a harmless civil servant, as her family thinks. Aba runs a network of mosque infiltrators and learns from one of her informers of some terrible news and a pressing deadline: a week from now, a little boy, a suicide bomber, is coming to Italy. So Ice has to intervene in person, in the field, if she wants to intercept the young man before he leaves Libya. However, none of the plans implemented yield the hoped-for results, and Aba’s entire world – both personal and professional – seems to come crashing down…