The gaze of others is our gratification, and the measure of our inadequacy. We are willing to shift our whole lives to show only our best side, knowing full well our worst lurks nearby.
Pietro and Teresa’s love is tempestuous. After yet another argument, Teresa comes up with an idea: “tell me something you've never told anyone,” she suggests, “tell me the thing you're most ashamed of, and I'll do the same. So we will remain united forever.”
They, of course, break up shortly after. Previous broken relationships often inform future ones: when Pietro meets Nadia, he falls in love with her softness, after Teresa’s many edges. A few days before their wedding, Teresa magically reappears: from that moment on, the secrets they exchanged will follow him.
After the international success of Ties and Trick, Domenico Starnone adds another powerful work to his ongoing excavation of people and relationships. Through Pietro’s story we learn about ourselves and how seismic the ground on which our identity is constructed can be.
Domenico Starnone was born in Naples and lives in Rome. He is the author of thirteen works of fiction, including First Execution (Europa, 2009), Via Gemito, winner of Italy’s most prestigious literary prize, the Strega, and Ties (Europa, 2017), a New York Times Editors’ Pick, and The Sunday Times’ best novel in translation of 2017.