Why I Start at the End

Original title: Perché comincio dalla fine

Publication Date:

September 2019



Original language and publisher

Italian | Marsilio

Territories Handled

English (North America), Netherlands

Territories Sold

Brazil (Editora Âyiné)


Literary Fiction

Why I Start at the End

Original title: Perché comincio dalla fine


“In the face of death we are all defenceless, desperate, thin, fat, children, parents.
This is how we are portrayed by Ginevra Lamberti, and we have never been so real. This is the work of a great writer, contemporary like no other” —Teresa Ciabatti

“This charming operetta by Ginevra Lamberti robs death of all its sanctity. On more than one occasion she reminded me of the extraordinary ashes scene in the film The Big Lebowski” —Serena Vitale

“Ginevra Lamberti is committed to a strange literary genre: ‘good writing’”. She makes you cry, makes you laugh – she really knows how to write” —Sandro Veronesi

“Death: a training session. You will need: gym shoes, bag full of regulations and
memories, high and brazen language. Bring plenty of life” —Valeria Parrella

“Ginevra Lamberti flirts with the great taboo of what she calls “the day when”. The
distance and remoteness of death become the landscape for a story that combines
delicacy, compassion and a touch of irreverence, all bolstered by the vitality of her
incredible writing” —Mario Desiati

A light, laid-back, unforgettable book about death (of others). A novel that has already received praise from many Italian writers months before its release.

From a sofa where she realises she has no place in this life or in the next – no one in her family had thought to book a plot – the protagonist of this novel, Ginevra, gets up to talk about those who do think about a place in the next life: professionals in the funeral sector (undertakers, funeral directors, tomb designers), poets, writers, singers and ordinary people. They are united – we all are – by the experience of death (of others) with its painful reverberations, and then, the joy of being alive. Between these meetings with people she has sought out (some might say stalked), there is Ginevra’s life: she is a landlady, in humid and beloved Venice, to tourists and pilgrims 2.0.

With crystal clear, upbeat and profound writing, Ginevra Lamberti – a rising star of Italian fiction – tells stories, cries, smiles and sings to let us know that only living people can die. So we might as well start feeling alive right now, from this moment.

From the novel:
“We were on the sofa, my mother and I, watching something on television. I don’t remember if it was a documentary, a report or in-depth news coverage. I believe the subject was cemeteries and the practice of mourning within their boundaries. I say I believe because after a few minutes of watching, without even looking at me, my mother asked, ‘So do you think we’re wrong for not having booked a plot’?”


Marketing Information

  • Winner of Mondello Literary Prize



Other books by this author