Shortlisted for the 2018 National Book Awards
Sharp, succinct storytelling and breathtaking prose combine in this new novel by the author of the New York Times editor’s pick, Ties.
Imagine a duel between an elderly man and a mere boy. The same blood runs through their veins. One, Daniele Mallarico, is a successful illustrator whose reputation is slowly fading. The other, Mario, is his four-year-old grandson. The older combatant has lived for years in solitude, focusing obsessively on his work. The younger one has been left by his querulous parents with his grandfather for a 72-hour stay. Shut inside an apartment in Naples that is filled with the ghosts of Mallarico’s own childhood, grandfather and grandson match wits, while outside lurks Naples, a wily, violent, and passionate city whose influence is not easily shaken.
Trick is a gripping, wry, brilliantly devised drama, “an extremely playful literary composition,” as Jhumpa Lahiri describes it in her introduction, about aging, family, art, and reconciling with one’s past.
Their relationship, perfectly captured by Starnone’s precise writing, gives the novel a rich foundation to allow for a juxtaposition of the old and the new, the rigid and the silly, while also providing readers with moments of pure comic relief, marked by the characters’ signature, witty stichomythia.Vox, USA
One of Italy’s most accomplished novelists spins a wonderful story...The Guardian, UK
A superb, sometimes unsettling intergenerational portrait hitting on basic truths.Library Journal, USA
. . . an emotionally complex, layered story whose brevity serves to amplify profound themes . . .Shelf Awareness, USA
Jhumpa Lahiri translates another Italian gem into English: Domenico Starnone’s ‘Trick’Washington Post, USA