WINNER OF THE 2020 YOUTH STREGA PRIZE
“Mencarelli writes with the grace and power of a poet. His words illuminate truth like a flash of lightning.”—Il Sole 24 Ore
“Moving and engaging. This novel will stay with you.”—Goffredo Fofi, Internazionale
“Extraordinary for its intensity and empathy.”—Radio Tre
June 1994. Twenty-year-old Daniele wakes up in a hospital room surrounded by strangers. Slowly, memories of the previous night return to him: a spiral of anxiety and anger, an explosion of violence so intense that it almost inflicted irreparable damage to him and his family. To his horror, he learns that he’s been sentenced to a week of mandatory treatment in a psychiatric ward.
Writing with lucid realism and stunning emotional force and drawing from his own personal experience of mental illness, Mencarelli chronicles seven days in the hospital as he struggles to find a way out of the darkness. Daniele finds unexpected companions in his fellow patients—men who, like him, have felt the full brunt of life’s pain. Together they will realise the hidden strength and value of their common fragility and the boundless empathy they feel towards others.
By focusing on some of the most marginalized people in our society, Mencarelli has written a heart-breaking and unforgettable novel that challenges our notion of normality and celebrates the salvific power of solidarity and vulnerability.
Daniele Mencarelli is a poet and author. Born in Rome in 1974, he now lives in Ariccia, Italy. He is a regular contributor to several newspapers and magazines. Everything Calls for Salvation, his second novel, won the 2020 Youth Strega Prize.