The Sixth Extinction: A Personal History

Original title: Cronache della sesta estinzione

Publication Date:

September 2023



Original language and publisher

Italian | Il Saggiatore

Territories Handled

English (North America), Netherlands


Literary Fiction

The Sixth Extinction: A Personal History

Original title: Cronache della sesta estinzione


A literary novel with a pacey rhythm and a bare language, stripped of any adornment, that creates a stylistic tension. Cronache della sesta estinzione has a vital energy that encapsulates the psychotic and chaotic mental flow of the protagonist, who recalls his own imaginative melancholia, apocalyptic delusion and paranoia, and elevates them to their greatest virtue and expressive force.” – Corriere della Sera

There is only one relevant question in life: to accept its absurdity or to opt out of it. Despite having achieved many goals throughout his life, the protagonist always feels lost, without a place in human society with all its conventions and contradictions. He always will be the son of a mother who sold him to another family, the son of a distant and brutal father who uprooted him from the mountains and valleys of his childhood to throw him into the grayness of Milan’s suburbs. He now lives like a homeless, inside a van, lonely and forgotten. It seems that his existence, like the world surrounding him, is already dying waiting for the next great extinction.

However, something happens, a small feeble but relentless light of hope. The man decides to escape, to run away in search of a place that is not hostile but habitable, an environment he can truly come into contact with. And like a modern Robinson Crusoe, a castaway lost on a desert island, eventually, he will find peace and warmth, all the things that seem to be denied by modern society. And salvation will have the face of a new and strange spring, the age of rebirth.

Stefano Valenti has written a novel imbued with the grace of a literary hallucination, a bracingly mythic and imaginatively contemporary one’s man journey that deals with the question of identity in a world in decay. Amid vivid imagery and nods to the grand literary tradition, Cronache della sesta estinzione is a book that will make readers think and see things anew.