The Truth About Everything
Original title: La verità su tutto
A revealing voyage towards the heart of the 21st century. A must-read. — Nicola Lagioia
Vanni Santoni manages to lead us by the hand along paths of forgotten wisdom, both ancient and modern, which make “La verità su tutto” a remarkable work of art. In this fascinating novel all the characters are in search of something invisible in order to ennoble their lives. But since, as we well know, not everything that is missing can be either seen or found, they are condemned to keep searching for good. This is what makes literature outstanding. — Edoardo Nesi, winner of Premio Strega 2011
Cleopatra Mancini is a 23-year-old girl with a seemingly perfect life – a fulfilling relationship, a well-established career, a beautiful home – which changes abruptly the day she thinks of recognizing her ex-girlfriend Emma in a low-class porn video. Cleo cannot help but wonder if it is her fault that Emma has ended up in that world. The sense of guilt takes her to search for the meaning of life and reflect on the timeless problem of evil. She begins to investigate every kind of philosophy and ultimately sets out to discover the weirdest spiritual realities in Italy, from Hare Krishna’s devotees to the intentional community of the so-called “Folletti”. Eventually, now far away from her previous life, Cleo joins Paradisino, a small community in the mountains populated by bizarre characters. She takes a new name, Shakti Devi, and founds a community on her own, destined to become increasingly bigger and more powerful whilst becoming more and more like a sect. But what has Cleo herself become? A modern-day Siddhartha or a charlatan? A saint or a fraud? The line turns out to be very blurred.
At once engaging and erudite, thoughtful and brillant, La verità su tutto is the timely and captivating story of an ordinary life turned extraordinary that also offers a piercing exploration of how religious and spiritual communities are born, live, and die.
- Nominated for the prestigious Premio Strega 2022!