The Magic Word

Original title: La parola magica

Author: Siccardi , Anna

Publication Date:

March 2020



Original language and publisher

Italian | NN Editore

Territories Handled

English (North America), Netherlands


Debut Novel

The Magic Word

Original title: La parola magica

Author: Siccardi , Anna


“La parola magica has the breath of a classic with a fast pace, reminds us of the short stories by Lucia Berlin and Alice Munro” — Il Giornale

“Anna Siccardi has her own well recognizable voice, her writing is direct, immediate, elegant” — Harper’s Bazaar

“Anna Siccardi’s characters show the scars of life in a world where everyone tries to
hide the signs of time” — Il Libraio

“The background is that timeless Milan in which seven characters go through 12 stories, each one taking part of each other’s life. The past has betrayed them and now they are trying to repair that broken toy that is their existence. The demons they deal with are alcohol, TV series, drugs, wrong relationships and illusions. “The magic word” weaves stories of men and women who chase and lose each other like the characters of the movie “Short Cuts”.

“Twelve paintings of a contemporary Milan, before the coronavirus, suspended in a limbo of desires and fears, populated by herds ready to join new cults and new crusades, the TV series syndrome, the cult of vintage and avocado, the cultural war against gluten, the spiritual ideals in fashion, the affective dimension of wi-fi. Characters who lose themselves and find themselves, animated by demons with which the author, going beyond the strict realism, restores the complexity of our lives, especially our relationships with others.”

“A brilliant psychopathology of everyday life, in which the characters, after having escaped into an emotional refuge from the usual difficulties, are trying to go back.”

“A novel for those who see their memories as a puzzle with a missing piece, for those who prefer imaginary dialogues to real ones, for those who believe in the magical power of words, for those looking for a guide to face the darkness and launch themselves into the void, like a trapeze artist sure to find a hand to hold on to.”

Leo, Irene, Anna, Diana and Chiara lead seemingly normal lives, but they are all hiding deep scars, pain and loneliness.

The demons they have to reckon with are not just substances (alcohol for Leo, narcotics for Davide, and prescription drugs for Diana), but their own weaknesses and temptations. Siccardi’s characters cure the sickness of living with what whatever remedy they can find: dreams, fantasies, stars and visions, tenuous bonds, drugs, TV series, alcohol. And strange forms of love.

La parola magica weaves through the streets of Milan following the stories of these characters, getting lost, rarely meeting, but never giving up on each other, united by the common thread of their search for redemption and stability.

Will Irene resist the temptation of alcohol, will Leo escape his reliance on drugs, and will Anna lose her overwhelming dependency on her father?

Marketing Information

  • English sample available