The Blue Nights

Original title: Le notti blu

Author: Marchelli, Chiara

Publication Date:

March 2017



Original language and publisher

Italian | Giulio Perrone Editore

Territories Handled

English (North America), Netherlands


Literary Fiction

The Blue Nights

Original title: Le notti blu

Author: Marchelli, Chiara

  • 2 Seas Represents: Dutch rights.
  • Rights Sold: Germany (btb/Random House Verlag)
  • Shortlisted for the Strega Award 2017.
  • English and French sample available.


“Chiara Marchelli has a great talent in getting inside character’s mind and heart.”
— Il Venerdì di Repubblica

“A very vivid novel on sorrow and on those who stay.” — Marie Claire

“Marchelli depicts situations and emotions with sharp grace.” — La Repubblica

“Chiara Marchelli’s writing is a blade of placid ferocity.” — Vanity Fair

We all think we know our loved ones. Larissa and Michele have known each other for a long time, just as they think they know Mirko, their son who leaves the United States, where he was born, to live in Italy and marry Caterina. A relationship that they never fully approved of.

Larissa and Michele have been married for over thirty years, they live in New York, lead a comfortable life and have been able to build a solid marriage, based on caring for each other, the small and generous acts of attention and the affectionate habits of their daily life.

The Blue Nights tells, like a sort of X-ray, of Larissa and Michele’s marriage, and their life, apparently quite normal, if it weren’t for their grief: a terrible pain that accompanies, and governs, their lives. It is a piece of news from Italy that comes to disrupt the equilibrium that the couple has so painstakingly built.

With a most lucid craft of surgical precision, Chiara Marchelli takes us through the couple’s range of thoughts, and uncovers revelations we’d rather not have to listen to: unwieldy, distressing secrets that we read avidly, reassured by the fact that the author is willing to tell it all, by holding with a firm hand all the threads of a story that goes back in time.

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