On a Human Scale

Original title: A misura d’uomo

Publication Date:

February 2018



Original language and publisher

Italian | NN Editore

Territories Handled

English (North America), Netherlands

Territories Sold

Netherlands (De Bezige Bij)
Spanish (World) (Rata)
Catalan (Rata)


Literary Fiction

On a Human Scale

Original title: A misura d’uomo


“This is neither a novel, nor a collection of short stories, but a mixture of paintings all linked to one another through the land and the town where they are set, first of all. You can almost touch and feel The West here, nurtured by the novels and the views typical of an American imagination that Roberto Camurri certainly does not hide”.Il Corriere della Sera

“The writing is melodious and embraces the reader like a lullaby about innocence and grace. Roberto Camurri made me wonder how a writer can expand a poem to such an extent as he perfectly did on the page”.La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno

“Spellbinding descriptions, vivid like brush strokes, and a sweet melancholy: Roberto Camurri delivers a tableau of Italy where everyone tries to free themselves from some old sense of guilt and to conquer their place in the world”.La Repubblica

“A novel originally built of independent tales weaved to each other, and written in a moving, passionate and strong language”.Donna Moderna

“Roberto Camurri writes a book where words have a thin red line to connect them, a choral novel in short stories crossing an entire life, from past to present days, without a chronological order, and which highlights those defining moments when a human being builds his fate”.Il Foglio

“Roberto Camurri delivers a debut novel that leaves a mark. The voice telling these stories never judges the characters, never forces them into preconceived psychological profiles, but keeps distance and let them emerge vividly and autonomously. It is difficult not to empathise, even when we would prefer not to be touched by them”.L’Unione Sarda

A melancholic, intense and moving novel which reads as a collection of short stories, and whose profound compassion reminds us of Bruce Springsteen’s ballads, set in a dry, harsh and solitary small town in Italy, which has very much in common with the Western imaginary.

The spellbinding voice of Roberto Camurri delivers a sweet debut novel made of short stories: stories of friendship and love, of life and death, of those defining moments in everyone’s life whose consequences define our identity.

Fabbrico is a little town on the Emilia Romagna’s map: few people, two roads, fields all around, and a sky like a cotton fabric. Fabbrico is the town where Davide and Valerio meet and become best friends, and where Davide and Anela fall in love. Anela becomes the rock of their friendship, but when Valerio decides to leave – he needs to get away from the town and from the people he’s known all his life – Davide loses himself, the woman he loves, and that precious little chance of happiness. But there are other people in Fabbrico too: Elena and Mario, Maddalena, Luigi, Giuseppe and Bice, the old lady that runs the café on the town’s main street, a place where everybody stops every day for a coffee or a liquor after dinner. All these characters fight to free themselves from an inexplicable sense of guilty: in the town and in the land they live in they will find, at last, the answer that can give shape and substance to memory and time.

This is a book for readers who love to take a close look to a painting, to identify the colourful strokes of the brush; for everyone who loves dining with cheese, salami and red wine; for the person who longs for the smell of the snow, and who knows that, sometimes, there’s no time and space for words, and therefore chooses to keep silent and return to the sea.

Roberto Camurri (1982), was born in Fabbrico and lives in Parma (Italy). He is deeply in love with his sad but splendid home town, maybe because he was able to run away from it. A misura d’uomo is his first novel.

Marketing Information

  • Over 15,000 copies sold
  • Winner of the Procida Prize Elsa Morant. Nominated for the Premio Campiello Opera Prima
  • Shortlisted for the European Literary Prize 2020
  • French sample and Spanish translation available