The Struck

Original title: I folgorati

Publication Date:

January 2024



Original language and publisher

Italian | Einaudi

Territories Handled

English (North America), Netherlands

Territories Sold

English (UK & BC excl Can) (Linden Editions)
Germany (offer received)


Literary Fiction

The Struck

Original title: I folgorati


“A family story, universal and intimate at once, poetic and persuasive. The character of Vera meets Susanna Bissoli’s perfect voice, a meta-novel full of grace that seeps into the reader’s heart and beats page after page, enchanting him with its luminous language. A story that reverberates like a ray of light. A fluorescent bolt of lightning.” — La Stampa

“I folgorati” is an intense literary novel written with vigorous prose, at once sparkling and intense in its expressive vivacity.” — il Corriere della Sera

“A novel of literary wonder and charm that has the strength of irony without opposing the fatigue of illness. An acceptance of reality that also becomes its unavoidable transformation.” — il manifesto

“Struck by “The Struck”!” — Daria Bignardi

“The condition Susanna Bissoli recounts through small turbulences, almost reluctantly, is universal, it belongs to many, to all those who feel somehow out of place, always elsewhere, inadequate to the here and now, to the grip on life. Bissoli’s writing has a lightness of its own, as if it hides an antidote to pain, a countermelody to failure.” — il mattino

“”I folgorati” is a novel about family, about a woman who struggles because this is not her disease, and wants to prove it first and foremost to herself. In addition, it’s also a story about how so many forms of love learn to manifest themselves in the right way in a delicate moment.”  — Critica Letteraria

“Susanna handles illness and pain while remaining miraculously joyful.” —Paolo Cognetti

“Susanna Bissoli is an author endowed with exceptional talent.” —Matteo B. Bianchi

You know, those who died are called “hit by lightning”. The survivors are the ones who got “struck”. The question is how can they continue with their lives.

When you survive a lightning strike, you have to understand what it means to be alive. Vera, the protagonist of Susanna Bissoli’s novel, knows this well.

Hers is a challenging and uncertain life, both emotionally and economically. In the Po Valley – amidst fog-covered hills and countryside outskirts, in the rural Veneto inhabited by a silent dignity of labor that breaks through the squalor of urbanized nature – her days are spent searching for a job that allows her time to write and taking care of her elderly father, punctuated by visits from her sister and beloved niece. One day, she comes across a folder of notebooks written by him and realizes that, throughout his life, Zeno, whom she has never seen pick up a pen, has secretly written a novel. The discovery deeply shatters her. She was never close to her father, but now there is something visceral that connects them: writing. And while Vera is facing a moment when she lacks the words, her father’s novel is adventurous and vivid, spanning fifty years or more of history with extreme realism. Zeno asks Vera to transcribe his notebooks into a computer. Assisting him in unraveling this huge skein of stories means for Vera rediscovering, rethinking and getting to know in a new light not only her father, but the entire microcosm in which her childhood and youth were consumed.

Susanna Bissoli’s writing is harmonious, vivid and ruthlessly honest, thus embedding the dynamics of an Italian provincial family within the narrative breath of a classic, European-paced novel.