Original title: Morsi

Author: Peano, Marco

Publication Date:

January 2022



Original language and publisher

Italian | Bompiani

Territories Handled

English (North America), Netherlands


Literary Fiction


Original title: Morsi

Author: Peano, Marco


Morsi is a novel based on the power of words – the ones you say out loud, the ones you don’t say, the ones you don’t want to say because you don’t want to know the truth. A novel about the invention of the mother, of the father, of love, and also of oneself. — Antonella Lattanzi, Corriere della sera

Morsi by Marco Peano is a raw, visceral and ferocious novel, but also a story full of that rare delicacy of lost childhood that faces the adult world with pure innocence. It’s a sincere novel in which growing up means giving up on the certainties imposed by others, while finding our own and experiencing life. Ilaria Tuti, La Stampa

So, at half-past nine in the morning of 1st January 1997, they walk towards the town. Anyone who had seen them together, backpacking, would have thought of two kids going to school. They were headed right there: in the exact center of the chaos.

Winter of 1996, the coldest of the 20th century. We’re in Lanzo, a small town in the middle of Piedmont’s Langhe, surrounded by snowy hills and mountains. While the wind howls against the windows and threatening snow-clouds build over the scrawny fields, twelve-year-old Sonia watches the disquieting landscape from her grandmother’s house. She has moved to the nearest city one year before and is now spending the Christmas holidays with her grandmother Ada, a secretive and severe old woman known in the area as a “masca,” a local healer with magical powers, though maybe she is something else — something more dangerous.

Everything in Lanzo seems frozen under the snow as well as in time. However, a strange episode happened that year, shaking the entire town: one day secondary school teacher Andreina Cardone closed her students in the classroom and did something unspeakable. Something that now, while Lanzo slowly empties out because of the violent snowfalls, seems to affect all the villagers.

It will be up to Sonia and her friend Teo, alone in the darkness and the cold, in a world that only them can save, to face the nightmare into which they have both fallen and survive afterwards.

A powerful, compulsively readable novel, impressive for its lucid insight, suggestive atmosphere and poised language. Morsi reads like a dark tale and is more than that: it is a reminder of true childhood, of its fears and dreams, a story about friendship and growing up, about the effort of getting by in an adult-shaped world when the adults leave the scene and leave you alone in fright.

Marketing Information

  • In the top 20 bestsellers its first week of release