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I Am The Beast (Io sono la bestia)

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Original Language: Italian | 240 pp. | September 2019

2 Seas Represents: Dutch rights.

CRIME FICTION

Mimì, the boss of Sacra Corona Unita, one of the cruellest Italian mafia organisations, has just lost Michele, his fifteen-year-old son who committed suicide. Michele left no note, there are no clues and Mimì reacts in the only way he knows: seeking revenge. Mimì is a violent, contemptible bully, who is used to getting everything by force: the village views him with fear and loathing, in the family everyone respects him with terror.

In the small and suffocating village in the Apulian hinterland, rumours fly and there are those who say that the boy’s suicide was due to rejection by his friend Nicole, a  dishonour that Mimì cannot accept. He decides to kill Nicole’s family and kidnap the girl to lock her in a remote farmhouse among the olive trees of Salento.

During her imprisonment, Nicole meets Veli, a boy of her own age who Mimì has forced to watch over her. A strange complicity arises between the two, both forced to live as prisoners and having their lives wasted by Mimì’s blackmail. In a world of violence, unspeakable secrets and atrocities, the two will try to overcome Mimì’s evil and reclaim their youth.

Io sono la bestia is a dark, hard-hitting, claustrophobic novel that leaves no way out. In a sun-scorched Puglia, Andrea Donaera constructs a novel from light (the sunny village), shadows (the dark sides of human nature) and silences (those in the cottage and those inherent in complicity). Sustained by a pressing rhythm and cinematic pace, the author transports the reader into a cruel and violent world to discover evil and its inevitability.

Andrea Donaera was born in Maglie, Lecce in 1989 and lives in Bologna. He graduated in Communication Sciences at the University of Salento, where he was one of the founders of the PENS Research Centre for Contemporary Poetry and New Writing. His texts have appeared in blogs and magazines including “Nuovi Argomenti”, “minima&moralia”, “Nazione Indiana”, and “Il primo amore”. Since 2017 he has been artistic director of the Poié literary festival in Gallipoli. Io sono la bestia is his first novel.