In Gardini’s novel, with its generous call to greater interpersonal understanding, one answer seems to be: everywhere, hiding unspoken, waiting.
—Times Literary Supplement
Gardini introduces the wider social unrest subtly, seeing things from the perspective of an insider and an outsider at once.
—Christine Smallwood, Harper’s
What do you call it when a novel in translation that is all about the problems of reading in translation? Ironic? Perverse? Necessary? Whatever the answer, Michael F. Moore’s English rendering is lucid and elegant.
Gardini crafts an amusing, entertaining read.
A gentle, bittersweet, tragicomic rite-of-passage novel translated into lively English by Moore.
—Matteo Giancotti, Corriere Della Sera
A combative novel, a multilayered piece of fiction, a triumphant narrative mechanism.
—Silvia Mazzocchi, La Repubblica
Gardini’s language is forceful and refined.
—from the citation for the Viareggio Prize
Combining elements of comedy and tragedy, Gardini’s novel is a call on today’s Italy to know its own language, to speak with substance, and to reconsider the relationship between words and meaning—a relationship broken by mass culture. As Leopardi declares, there is in words an exhortation to probe the depths of truth—a calling to believe that culture and education can still save us.