Oliva Denaro

Author: Ardone, Viola

Publication Date:

September 2021



Original language and publisher

Italian | Einaudi

Territories Handled

Netherlands, Scandinavia, World English

Territories Sold

France (Albin Michel)
Spanish (Spain) (Seix Barral)
Finland (Aula & Co)
Catalan (Columna)
Lithuania (Alma littera)
Greece (Patakis)
Germany (DVA)
Netherlands (Xander Uitgevers)
World English (HarperOne)
Czech Republic (Euromedia)
Hungary (Athenaeum)
Sweden (Bromsbergs Bokförlag)
Denmark (Alpha, in a preempt)


Literary Fiction

Number of copies sold:


Foreign Covers


Oliva Denaro

Author: Ardone, Viola


It’s 1960 and Oliva Denaro is sixteen years old. She lives in a small town in Sicily and ever since she was a little girl, she has known, on account of her mother repeating it to her obsessively, that “a woman is like a vase; whoever breaks it, buys it”.

She likes running until her lungs burst, she secretly copies the faces of film stars into her notebook and she goes looking for snails with her father, an activity she loves, especially for its silence. She doesn’t like, however, the idea of becoming a young woman, as she knows from that moment on she’ll have to defend herself from men.

When she rejects the advances of the baker’s son, enamored by the young girl, he kidnaps and rapes her in the hope that he can have her as his wife due to the Italian law of ‘reparatory marriage’. But Oliva doesn’t just refuse to marry him, she defends her right to choose her path in life by first reporting him to the police and then facing up to the brutal reality of the trial.

After the extraordinary success of “The Children’s Train” (31 territories, 200K cps sold), Ardone presents another book for which only one adjective will suffice; beautiful. Viola Ardone is able to take history and transform it into a story like nobody else. This time she chooses the tale of a girl who fights for her freedom in an age when to be born a woman was to be condemned. It is an intense and moving coming-of-age tale, both a sentimental and a political upbringing. The voice of the narrator is so engaging that you can’t help keeping it with you.

Foreign Covers


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