Nives's husband suddenly dies&the only thing that eases her loneliness is companionship of a hen.When the chicken falls ill, Nives calls an old friend for help.Their phone conversation becomes the book-an all night long rehashing of their pasts, lost loves and betrayals that reads more like a two person play than a novella.Their verbal ping pong switches between quippy and laugh out loud funny to emotional and pensive.Through their dialogue painful revelations come to light.Unexpected in form & a gratifying ending— Alina
A woman replaces her recently deceased husband with a hen, happily, but when the hen becomes hypnotized by a Tide commercial, she calls the only person who might be able to help, breaking a decades long silence between them. What ensues proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that those in glass houses ought not throw stones, but sometimes...knives are okay.— Kat
Shortlisted for the 2022 Italian Prose in Translation Award
One of the most exciting new voices in Italian literature brings to life a hauntingly beautiful story of undying love, loss, and resilience, and a fierce, unforgettable new heroine
Meet Nives: widow, Tuscan through-and-through, survivor. Nives has recently lost her husband of fifty years. She didn't cry when she found him dead in the pig pen, she didn't cry at the funeral, but now loneliness has set in. When she decides to bring her favorite chicken inside for company, she is shocked, confused, and a little bit guilty to discover that the chicken's company is a more than adequate replacement for her dead husband.
But one day, Giacomina goes stiff in front of the tv. Unable to rouse the paralyzed chicken, Nives has no choice but to call the town veterinarian, Loriano Bottai, an old acquaintance of hers. What follows is a phone call that seems to last a lifetime, a phone call that becomes a novel. Their conversation veers from the chicken to the past--to the life they once shared, the secrets they never had the courage to reveal, wounds that never healed.
Nives reverberates with the kinds of stories we tell ourselves at night when we cannot sleep: stories of love lost, of abandonment, of silent and heart-breaking nostalgia, of joy, laughter, and despair. With delicate yet sharp prose and raw, astonishing honesty, Sacha Naspini bravely explores the core of our shared humanity.