Without Tail

Original title: Senza Coda

Publication Date:

January 2017



Original language and publisher

Italian | Feltrinelli


Literary Fiction

Without Tail

Original title: Senza Coda

  • 2 Seas Represents: Dutch rights.


“A narrative that skilfully develops alternating the unspoken and the spoken, in a confrontation between the actual facts and their inner elaboration’’. — Campiello Opera Prima Award 2006

Ten-year-old Pietro lives in Sicily, where he spends his childhood hunting lizards and going on small adventures with his friend Luigi. Adult responsibilities are not part of his world until the day his father asks him: ‘My son, will you go to Carmine in three days?’.

These words will make Pietro lose his charming innocence. What is inside the envelope he has to take to Carmine, Luigi’s father? As Pietro fantasizes about the contents of the envelope, his imagination takes him to incredible missions to accomplish. Respect and fear for his father, though, prevent him from opening the envelope that he treasures.

However, Pietro is destined to run up against the brutality of the adult world in a way which leaves no escape. Carmine is not allowed to leave home as he is under house arrest, and Pietro’s task is not part of a father and son game. The envelope contains money and instructions.

The sun, laughter and playing games will soon be replaced by silence and waiting. Sicily invaded by the summer sun is home to Missiroli’s novel made of light and shade, the lights of the courtyards where children play and fantasize and the inner eyes.

Using a very precise narrative and a cinematographic language, Marco Missiroli writes about the relationship between father and son, the discovery of evil and its inevitability, about a child who sheds his skin and is forced to grow up at its own expense.