The Autumnals

Original title: Gli autunnali

Author: Ricci, Luca

Publication Date:

February 2018



Original language and publisher

Italian | La nave di Teseo


Literary Fiction

The Autumnals

Original title: Gli autunnali

Author: Ricci, Luca

  • 2 Seas Represents: Dutch rights.
  • Rights sold: France (Actes Sud), Greece (Metaihmio), Spain/Catalan (Navona), Germany (DTV)
  • Cinema rights have been optioned by 11 marzo film, the same production company that is filming the TV series based on Umberto Eco’s Il nome della rosa (The Name of the Rose), expected to be broadcast on Rai 1 channel in 2019.
  • Long-listed for the Premio Strega 2018
  • English sample available

A novel of rare beauty. — HuffingtonPost

An absolutely authentic writer. — Andrea Cortellessa

A modern treatise of love and today obsessions, set in a beautiful Rome drenched in the colours and the smells of autumn.

A man is strolling through the streets of Rome cooing with his lover. A very common scene, except for the fact that this man’s lover is just a “very respectfully” folded picture stowed in his pocket. The woman in the portrait is not just any woman: it is Jeanne Hébuterne, artist Amedeo Modigliani’s companion, a tragic and powerful character.

Between present and past, this is an overwhelming novel telling about an amour fou and a relentless account of married life after the end of love and romanticism, where characters seem to have to have lost all the “chlorophyll in their veins” and keep on lying to each other.

While autumn comes in a Rome smelling of “fried broccoli and mushroom soup” and the protagonist loses himself in yearnings watching “autumn curled up leaves rot, dying death”, the reader can’t help asking himself if he his reading the thoughts of a mad man or the honest confession of a man and a woman who have pushed love to its extreme consequences, as in a nightmare, or just as in life. A novel about obsession, where obsession begins pouring into reality leading to unexpected, surprising, sometimes funny and sometimes bitter events.

After many award-winning collections of short stories, Luca Ricci makes is debut in novels with a perfect plot, a modern treatise of love and of today obsessions, a relentless portrait of contemporary men.

Luca Ricci was born in Pisa in 1974 and lives in Rome. He has published L’amore e altre forme d’odio (Einaudi 2006, Premio Chiara), La persecuzione del rigorista (Einaudi 2008, Premio Zocca) Mabel dice si (Einaudi 2012), Come scrivere un bestseller in 57 giorni (Laterza 2009, finalist at the Premio Bergamo) and I difetti fondamentali (Rizzoli 2017, long-listed to the Premio Campiello and the Premio Chiara). He teaches writing in many schools among which Scuola Holden, Belleville and Scuola del Libro.

Praise for previous titles:

“Ricci knows how to bring incandenscence to everyday events. His short stories remind of Ian McEwan at his debut or some post-Carver snapshots”. — Avvenire

“Ricci’s writing knows how to tell about the study of love with extraordinary objectivity. Even if he deals with a risky subject, there is no concession to prudery or moralism, but there is a great expressive strenght”. — La Stampa, Tuttolibri