Margaret Mazzantini
Splendore (Splendor)
A novel, Mondadori, November 2013, 308 pages

“A crush between love and prejudice.”
Corriere della Sera

Splendore is a book with a strong power of attraction; Mazzantini tells, in a very sensual way and without clichés, the emotional world of male love.”
NDR Matinee, Buch der Woche

Will we have the courage to be ourselves?  
This is what the main characters of this novel ask themselves: two young men, two incredible destinies. One is restless and eclectic, the other carnal and tormented. A single identity to be put back together, like the tiles of a mosaic cast into the emptiness. An unbreakable bond, at once violent and creative, imposes itself as their own nature surges up in them – a high wire spanning the abyss of an entire existence.
The two protagonists grow apart, geographically distant, and establish new bonds. But the need for the other persists in the primitive abandon that brings them back to themselves, back to the place where they learned about love, a fragile and virile place, as tragic as rejection and as ambitious as desire. The sentimental initiation of Guido and Costantino covers the seasons of life, infancy, adolescence, and the ravages of adulthood. They put everything in jeopardy, every other emotion, every hard-won certainty, even their own personal safety. And every phase of life amplifies that nostalgia for the age of splendor, which the two men lived like warriors with broken lances.
The protagonist’s narrative voice has a poetic clarity that evokes the naive epic feel of literature’s great incompetents – it soars and plunges acrobatically, tragic and joyful in the thousands of inlets of this both classical and experimental novel. It is a novel that changes shape, just as love changes shape. It strips us of prejudices, exposes us to vertigo, liberates us. It has the loneliness, audacity and meloncholy virulence of all unforgiven love chasing the illusion of potential splendor. It is a novel that is unlike any novel, because no love story is like any other.
But the story of Guido and Costantino is also a voyage across many modes of literature, a kaleidoscope of suggestions that cover archeological time as well as the here and now… a ventriloquial lacustrine Rome, echoes of Greek mythology, a London swirling with extravagance. The story dares to bite into the most uncomfortable wounds of love hovering over the very men that attempt it, the love that artists have always tried to capture because they find in its beauty a reason for being, beyond any judgment.
Margaret Mazzantini gives us a hypnotic novel, suffused with a light that shoots you in the back, advancing with a mad urgency in a narrative that goes against the grain, claiming the right to transform shame into beauty. Literature has the right to awaken us and leave us in the stupor of a resounding dream – because the real scandal would be not to look for our true selves. In the end we each know that we can only be who we are. And the real splendor is our singularly suffered diversity.

Margaret Mazzantini

Margaret Mazzantini - © Alessandro Moggi

Margaret Mazzantini was born in Dublin and lives in Rome with her husband and four children. She is the author of Il catino di zinco (1994), Manola (1999), Non ti muovere (2001, Premio Strega 2002, Premio Grinzane-Cavour, European Zepter Prize as best european book), Zorro (2002), Venuto al mondo (2008, Premio Campiello 2009), Nessuno si salva da solo (2011), Mare al mattino (2011, Premio Pavese, Premio Matteotti) and Splendore (2013). Many of her books have been successfully made into films by her husband, the actor and director Sergio Castellitto: Non ti muovere starring Penélope Cruz in 2004, Venuto al mondo with Penélope Cruz and Emile Hirsch in 2012, Nessuno si salva da solo with Riccardo Scamarcio and Jasmine Trinca in 2015. Mazzantini is author of the screenplay of Castellitto’s latest movie Fortunata (2017) with Jasmine Trinca who has been awarded for her performance as Best Actress, in the section “Un certain regard”, at the Cannes Film Festival.




“A crush between love and prejudice.”
Corriere della Sera

“Her writing is hyperbolic though essential, so elegant, in its immediacy.”
Il Messaggero

“Her way to describe adolescence and early youth is so intense that it is hard to remain indifferent. 
Il Venerdì di Repubblica

“Mazzantini is facing life with courage following her instinct… Splendor is a love story, two bodies and two minds between Rome and London.”

Splendore is a book with a strong power of attraction; Mazzantini tells, in a very sensual way and without clichés, the emotional world of male love.”
NDR Matinee, Buch der Woche

“A great, impossible, secret, happy, sad, traumatic, wonderful love story between two men. The perfect wedding gift!”

“A touching and socially explosive novel about self-discovery.”

“Mazzantini describes the inner life of her characters in a sophisticated and touching way. A great novel.”

Splendore is a touching novel about the search for identity, about beauty and shame, about finding the core of your existence, about the daring to be different – and discovering the true brilliance of life.”
De Wereld Draait Door 

“Mazzantini is at her best when she observes how the men interact. Stealthily they show their feelings, such as a noisy macho-men-embrace containing a secret embrace of lovers.”

“An ambitious novel that does not cease to fascinate the reader.”

“A wonderful story.”

“There is much more than an impossible love story between two men.”

“This book has a bit of all– sadness, joy, sex, love, forbidden love, hate and anger. Margaret Mazzantini writes wonderfully and her language is engaging. Fantastic.”
Nouw, Boktjuven

Foreign rights sold in
Bulgaria: Colibri
France: Robert Laffont
Germany: DuMont
Poland: Sonia Draga
Romania: Polirom
Russia: Azbooka
Slovenia: Mladinska Knjiga Zalozba
Spain and Latin America: Seix Barral
Sweden: Contempo
The Netherlands: Wereldbibliotheek
Turkey: Doğan Kitap

Italian and international editions

Foreign publishers of Margaret Mazzantini’s works

Albania: Ombra
Bosnia: Buybook
Brazil: Companhia das Letras
Bulgaria: Colibri
China: Lijang Pub
Croatia: Znanje, Algoritam
Czech Republic: Euromedia
Denmark: Samleren
Finland: WSOY
France: Robert Laffont, 10/18
Germany: Frankfurter Verlagsanstalt, btb, DuMont
Greece: Oceanida
Hungary: Tericum, Cartaphilus
Israel: Kinneret 
Zmora-Bitan Dvir
Japan: Soshisha
Latvia: Apgads Atena
Lithuania: Alma Littera
Macedonia: Terra Magica
Mexico: Grijalbo, Alfaguara
The Netherlands: Wereldbibliotheek
Norway: Gyldendal
Poland: Muza, Sonia Draga
Portugal: Dom Quixote, Bertrand
Romania: Polirom
Russia: Azbooka
Serbia: Plato, Beobook
Slovenia: Mladinska Knjiga Zalozba
South Korea: Munhakdongne
Spain and Latin America (Castillan): Salamandra, Quinteto, Lumen, DeBolsillo, Alfaguara, Seix Barral
Spain (Catalan): La Magrana, Rosa dels Vents
Sweden: Bonniers, Lindelöws, Contempo
Taiwan: Crown
Thailand: Gamme Magie
Turkey: CAN Yayinlari, Doğan Kitap
UK: Chatto & Windus, OneWorld
US: Nan A. Talese, Anchor Books, Doubleday, Viking Penguin

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