Original title: Spilli

Author: Olivo, Greta

Publication Date:

September 2023



Original language and publisher

Italian | Einaudi

Territories Handled

English (North America), Netherlands


Debut Novel, Literary Fiction


Original title: Spilli

Author: Olivo, Greta


“You will remember everything about Spilli: you will remember the grandfather’s cane, the leaf earrings and the turtles’ night; the physical objects that appear in this novel will linger with you for a long time, clear, even when Greta Olivo will make them disappear, blurring your vision page after page. It is mysterious, almost inexpressible why certain writing is so vivid, so persistent, but it is also so clear when it happens. And it happens in this book. Along with the theme of adolescence – that unique combination of desire and fear – there is something new and fresh in Spilli, something that has to do with Greta Olivo’s generation and, in part, with all of us. It’s hard to think of a better way to debut.” — Paolo Giordano

A highly powerful, resonant and rare debut on rebirth, starring a girl in front of her very own shadow line.

“I have to learn how to live in a world that disappears around me, a world that goes

Livia is beautiful, she has a happy family, a best friend and everything a tenager can possibly wish for. She runs and catches the wind: she is the fastest. But one day she will learn that her life is quickly changing and that she will soon be surrounded by darkness.

Livia is diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic disorder of the eyes that causes loss of vision. She discovers it in a moment when all she wants is to be like everyone else, to be identical to her peers, to win athletic games, to go to parties, to be seen. But in the evening, when everything sinks into the shadows, she loses her sight. If growing up means learning to accept weaknesses, the game for Livia is a little tougher than for the others. What does it mean to lose control and come to terms with your own imperfection? Is it possible to come to terms with your limits, if all you want is to be like the others, to be accepted? ç

Thanks to her father, her family and her friends, Livia will have to accept this new future. She will have to learn to live without seeing the world around her, to move in the dark and listen to sounds, but above all, she will have to face all her fears. Inspired by a true story, Spilli is an enthralling, moving story, lit on every page by a profound and visceral force. It is a punch in the stomach, a melancholy account on teenage solitude and personal traumas as well as a sharp tale about the most secret and unspeakable human feelings of a broken life.

Above all, Greta Olivo’s incredibly captivating debut is an intense testimony that tells how one can rise from his own ashes, and that nothing is ever lost.

Greta Olivo’s first novel, inspired by a true story, is enthralling, moving, ignited on every page by a profound force and gives us back a melancholy story and at the same time a story about that very special age, adolescence – with its unstoppable generating and life-giving force, with its disruptive energy, despite all the obstacles. “Spilli” is an intense and unforgettable story about hope and trust.