Niente di Vero
by Veronica Raimo
One of 2023’s Best Books of Fiction in Translation
“Remarkable … Yet another example of why we need more translated European fiction. … There could not be a finer justification for Women in Translation Month than this.”
—Charlie Connelly in The New European
“Wild, funny and disturbing.”
—Roddy Doyle, choosing Lost on Me as his favorite book of 2023 (in The Irish Times)
“Raimo turns her well-honed satirical gaze inward in this winning work of autofiction … With its stellar voice, Raimo’s inquisitive and vulnerable novel proves tough to put down.”
“Highly entertaining, thought-provoking and one of 2023’s best novels yet.”
—Strong Words Magazine
“Filled with humor and neuroses … Raimo weaves together a series of nonlinear vignettes with a deft hand, connecting seemingly disparate moments through themes of longing, loneliness, identity, and, perhaps most profoundly, the concept of memory itself … A witty and complex portrait of a woman becoming herself.”
“I fell head over heels in love with Lost on Me. What a thrillingly original voice! Raimo writes with a tender brutality that is simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking.”
—Monica Ali, author of Love Marriage
“This book made me want to clear my calendar and read everything of Raimo’s I could get my hands on. Incisive, engrossing, and deeply funny.”
—Julia May Jonas, author of Vladimir
“A uproariously funny portrait of an unconventional family from a writer who knows the sliver of ice in the heart as well as she knows love. This deliciously enjoyable novel is a true original and one to savor.”
—Katherine Heiny, author of Early Morning Riser
“Smart, funny … sharply tender”
—Best books of 2023 in Marie Claire
“Lost on Me was anything but; I was utterly seduced by this wry and fearless novel featuring the unforgettable voice of Vero, a young woman with a sharp sense of humour and a splendid eye for the absurd.”
—Elizabeth McKenzie, author of The Dog of the North
“Veronica Raimo is the only person whose prose has made me laugh out loud since I was a teenager.”
An award-winner and bestseller of 100,000 copies in Veronica Raimo’s native Italy, Lost on Me is an irreverent and hilariously inverted bildungsroman from one of the most celebrated young writers working today.
Born into a family with an omnipresent mother who is devoted to her own anxiety, a father ruled by hygienic and architectural obsessions, and a precocious genius brother at the center of their attention, our heroine Vero languishes in boredom in her childhood home. Peering through tiny windows while cramped in her family coven, Vero periodically attempts to strike out but is no match for her mother’s relentless tracking methods and masterful guilt trips. Vero’s every venture outside their Rome apartment ends in her being unceremoniously returned home. It’s no wonder that she becomes a writer – and a liar – inventing stories in a bid for her own sanity.
Spikey and clever, Vero delights in her own devious schemes. As she guides us through her failed attempts at emancipation, her discovery of sex and fixations with unwitting men, and ultimately her contentious relationship with reality, she also brings alive Rome from the 1980’s through the early 2000’s. With restless intelligence and covert tenderness, Lost on Me takes on the uncertain enterprise of becoming a woman.
Lost on Me came out in the U.S. through Grove Atlantic and in the U.K. through Virago Books in 2023. An excerpt entitled “Little Miss Bigmouth” was published in Issue #45 of n+1.
This book was translated thanks to a grant awarded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Veronica Raimo is the author of four novels, the most recent of which, Lost On Me (Niente di Vero) was shortlisted for the Premio Strega Prize and won the Strega Off Prize, the Strega Giovani Prize and the Viareggio Rèpaci Prize. Her 2019 novel The Girl at the Door (Miden) was called “Darkly amusing… profoundly feminist” by Jezebel and “tight and provocative” by Salon. Her stories have appeared in various anthologies and magazines, here and abroad. She wrote the collection of poems Le bambinacce with Marco Rossari. She cowrote the script for the film Sleeping Beauty (2012) by director Marco Bellocchio. She contributes cultural articles to various Italian publications, and her translations into Italian include works by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Octavia. E. Butler, Ray Bradbury, and Ursula K. Le Guin. Film rights to Lost On Me were acquired by Fandango and the book will also be published in the UK, France, and Germany.
Veronica Raimo is represented by Anna Stein of ICM Partners.
I think Leah is a brilliant translator and did a great job with my novel: she created a voice in which I recognize myself, taking good care of the style and rhythm, and she found clever solutions for the tricky wordplay. It was beautiful to read my novel in her translation and it was a pleasure to work with her.
I’ve been working with translated literature for twenty years, and my experience working with Leah has been a true high point. She is a very skilled translator, no question, but she is also a very willing collaborator: incredibly thoughtful, creative—and importantly, fun to work with. I would really welcome the opportunity to work with her again (and again).
Leah Janeczko uses her creativity, passion
and expert knowledge of Italian and English
to help others express their authentic voice
in a language not their own.