The Color of the Things Unsaid. 36 questions to find you again

Original title: Il colore delle cose non dette

Author: Rausi, Simone

Publication Date:

June 2023



Original language and publisher

Italian | Rizzoli

Territories Handled

France, Netherlands, Scandinavia, World English


Commercial Fiction

The Color of the Things Unsaid. 36 questions to find you again

Original title: Il colore delle cose non dette

Author: Rausi, Simone


This book enchanted us from the first pages, from which emerges the vivid and full-of-life portrait of an apartment building that could be that of all of us: there is the extravagant Peter, a troublemaker with a heart of gold, the doorman who is like the mother of all the tenants, the mysterious engineer, the married couple on the second floor.
But what really took our hearts was Nina’s character. Without even mentioning it, Nina’s solitude evokes the experience that we all live through during the pandemic. The world seen from the attic of Nina recalls, in the cacophony of other people’s noises and just with a blue slice of sea between two buildings, the climate of suspension that we all have known in the last two years, and that this book manages to capture with far more force and poetry than novels that choose to talk about the pandemic explicitly.
Nina is going through a loss, yet even in pain she does not give up her vitality: she is impulsive, ironic, romantic, and sharp. And it is very rare that the tale of mourning, of trauma, can be so bright and intelligent without ever falling into superficiality.
[…] Without losing an ounce of her originality, Nina recalls irresistible characters from the recent literary or serial scene, such as the caustic Eleanor Oliphant or the brilliant Fleabag by Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Her journey of transformation does not give her the classic romantic happy ending but a new awareness of herself, and the possibility of being bolder and happier.
And this seems to us a beautiful and very timely message. — Gemma Trevisani (Italian Fiction Editor-in-chief) & Benedetta Bolis (Senior Editor Italian Fiction)

Two strangers, an apartment building, 36 questions to save themselves. From a New York Times experiment, a story of rebirth and secret complicity.

Following in the footsteps of The Rosie Project, and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, this uplifting and delicate story captured us from the very first pages. Among apartment-building intrigues, a sprightly doorkeeper, and clumsy investigative attempts, Rausi tells the story of Nina and Asso, a bumpy journey that goes through grief to reach self-discovery.

As a child, Nina played with different paints, dreaming of creating a new color. Now she is twenty years old and works as a graphic designer, but since the death of his brother Samuel her life has lost all colors. She doesn’t leave the house and doesn’t want to talk to anyone. Then, an anonymous message: a person who claims to live in her building and seems to know everything about Samuel. Before revealing its identity, the stranger proposes a game: 36 questions to be answered alternately and wholeheartedly. Nina is appalled: does she really know so little about her neighbors? And what about her brother? Thus begins a dialogue in the dark, two perfect strangers who stretch their hands to save themselves from pain. Thanks to this invisible thread, the world of Nina will become colorful again and the memory of Samuel will be enriched with new, unexpected shades.

A contested first novel among the major Italian publishers. A new, surprising pop voice of our narrative

Marketing Information

  • English sample available