Lives of Mine

Original title: Vite Mie

Publication Date:

October 2022



Original language and publisher

Italian | Mondadori

Territories Handled

France, Netherlands, Scandinavia, World English


Literary Fiction

Lives of Mine

Original title: Vite Mie


This book recounts a very intimate family through dinners, movies, PlayStations, everyday dialogues, lurking fears, hopes, and awakenings: a family marked by enormous pain and yet contagiously united. A unique family. Lives of Mine is a magnetic novel, a sentimental fresco guided by questioning and yet resolute voice that page after page searches for the meaning of existence and slams like a battering ram against the wall of love: “This love fulfilled in the exercise of subtraction of the self I have never even been able to imagine, yet I have been living for years in the midst of its unfolding, its full implementation.” Selvetella pulls us into a conscious, dreamlike flow, into an imperious Rome, that he knows like the back of his hand, through the eyes of the protagonist, of his children, in a poignant journey that takes our breath away for its stylistic and human maturity. — Tuttolibri, La Stampa, Federica De Paolis 

Lives of Mine. The title is already deeply poignant, just like the story that Yari Selvetella tells in this splendid novel memoir made of a life lived and obsessively thought through, that speaks first of all about love. A story about the joy and hard work of building relationships that defy prejudice: the family told by Lives of Mine, in fact, is not held together by blood ties, but by the choice of love that each person makes on a daily basis.  —  IO DONNA, Corriere della Sera Weekly Magazine Romana Petri

Claudio, has so many T-shirts to wash and breakfasts to prepare that despite the peculiarity of his situation, because of that peculiarity, as only the protagonists of great novels can do, he whispers with his lives to ours the secret to holding everything together. And resist the temptation to turn everything into an alibi for […] forgetting about us. — 7, Corriere della Sera, Weekly Magazine, Chiara Gamberale

A novel permeated with thoughts about love, family, our relationship with time passing by. An inspiring and moving book with a hypnotic, clear, plastic writing that tries to tell us that essential something that always escapes us.

Love is not enough, you have to know how to do it. Sometimes a whole life is not enough to learn it or the ability you cultivated in years just mysteriously vanishes and nothing is left but a feeling of inadequacy and nostalgia.

Claudio Prizio needs more than a life to get to feel he is really starting over. To begin with he needs to look for himself in others. Claudio asks for a shelter, as he always used to, to his family, but something is off at home. He has a normal and yet peculiar family that guards big sorrows, unusual bonds and moment of authentic happiness. Everyone has to find the strength to let go of the past: his partner Agata, his four children – two of which are adults now – and him above all. Claudio seeks for himself at home, but in his city, too: Rome is so generous with encounters that ends up dazing him in a twist of coincidences. Lately in fact he keeps noticing resemblance in people he comes across: a distracted driver that almost kills him at a traffic light, an aging rocker, a real estate agent, a woman who fled to the country. His peers are like mirrors, but instead of helping him in the discovery of his own identity, they wrap him into an inescapable play of reflections.

How do you go beyond preserving your memories, without becoming their slave? Rome, a city that all cherishes and seems to pay no attention to what happens, is a master in this art, and it will suggest Claudio the ploy – the one last illusion, maybe – to free himself and the ones he loves.

Lives of mine is a tempestuous existential exploration pushed forward by burning questions: what does love mean at one point in life, and when life has already hit hard? How can we not take for granted our relationships and make them special, unique and long-lasting instead?

Marketing Information

  • Longlisted for 2018 Strega Prize with “Le stanze dell’addio”
  • Initial print run: 10,000 copies