Domenico Starnone’s new novel Trick has all the coherence and intensity of a classic two-hand play. An older man and his grandson of four square off in an apartment in Naples, matching barbs and power plays over the course of a baby-sitting trip set up so the child’s parents can attend a conference. I’m a third of the way in and already lamenting the book is so short. Jhumpa Lahiri has done a masterful job translating it. Narrated in the grandfather’s beleaguered, fractious voice, the book seems to unfold right before you—the voice so lucid and urgent all the emotional torque of what surges beneath the old man’s interactions with his grandson—family secrets, a feeling of mortality buffeting up—assault the present, like they do when you’re no longer young.
–John Freeman, Lit Hub executive editor