The Invention of Us

Original title: L’invenzione di noi due

Author: Bussola, Matteo

Publication Date:

March 2020



Original language and publisher

Italian | Einaudi

Territories Handled

France, Netherlands, Scandinavia, World English


Literary Fiction

The Invention of Us

Original title: L’invenzione di noi due

Author: Bussola, Matteo


Daily life – the life that perhaps escapes us in its minute details … Bussola transforms it into thoroughly absorbing stories. — Natalia Aspesi, la Repubblica.

“I started writing to my wife when she’d stopped loving me completely.”

This is the opening line of this novel, in which Milo, married to Nadia for fifteen years, notices that she no longer wants him:  she doesn’t look at him, she doesn’t listen to him, she doesn’t share anything about herself with him.  She seems devoid of life. As sometimes happens in couples, she stays with him out of inertia, dependence, or fear. How many people surrender to the idea that marriage can’t help but turn out like this? Milo no. He doesn’t give in. He goes on loving his wife helplessly and can’t bear not to recognize in her eyes the girl that he’d once known. He’d like her to still be in love, curious, alive, simply because she deserves it. This is why he writes to her one day, pretending to be someone else. Unexpectedly, she answers, giving rise to a secret correspondence. In those letters, increasingly dense and intense, both of them reveal themselves as never before. Gradually, Milo sees Nadia light up again and is happy, but jealous, too. He realizes he’s in a trap.  How can he save himself, if he’s turned into his own adversary?

A delicate and savage story, like all love stories.

“This is the story of how I turned love into ashes and then ashes into love again. The first was my mistake.  The second my fault.”

Matteo Bussola tells a story of love.

Strong, spoiled, ambiguous, indispensable.

Like every relationship, capable of changing our life.

Marketing Information

  • 35.000 copies sold
  • Matteo Bussola is the author of the non-fiction bestseller Notti in bianco, baci a colazione (2016), with translations in many countries
  • Download a letter of his editor at Einaudi, Rosella Posterino, author of the international bestseller At the Wolf’s Table (Le assaggiatrici), winner of the Premio Campiello 2018
  • Extensive English sample translation available