The Cursed Friend: A Novel (Hardcover)

The Cursed Friend: A Novel By Beatrice Salvioni, Elena Pala (Translated by) Cover Image

The Cursed Friend: A Novel (Hardcover)

By Beatrice Salvioni, Elena Pala (Translated by)

$27.99


On Our Shelves Now
3 on hand, as of May 25 8:30pm

"Bloody, unapologetic, and wild ... I loved it!" —Naomi Krupitsky, New York Times bestselling author of The Family

"The Cursed Friend grabs the reader’s attention and doesn’t let go ... a magnetic coming-of-age story" —Laura Spence-Ash, bestselling author of Beyond That, the Sea

For readers of Adriana Trigiani, Susan Meissner, and Elena Ferrante, an unbreakable, life-changing friendship will lead two young girls from different worlds to rebel against the injustice they face in 1930s Italy

It is 1936, and in the small Italian city of Monza, on the pebbled bank of the Lambro, two frantic girls scramble to bury a body—the dead son of the city's most prominent fascist. Soon, they will find their fierce friendship put to the ultimate test.

A year earlier, Francesca Strada, the well-mannered daughter of a bourgeois family, dreams of a life beyond provincial conformity. From afar she spies on Maddalena, the town’s rebellious outcast—whom neighbors call “the Cursed One”—and whose indomitable spirit fascinates her. Then, one day, escaping the vigilant eye of her parents, Francesca finds herself caught in her first-ever lie while trying to protect Maddalena. Soon, the two are inseparable. Maddalena teaches Francesca to defy animals, to overcome her fear of blood, and to recognize her body as something alive and present.

But as tensions escalate and an atmosphere of suspicion, corruption, and discontent settles over the town, the friends become increasingly aware that as girls, they’re not as free as they wish to be. Confronted by a vicious act of violence, Maddalena and Francesca must rely on each other to defend what they have forged together. Set against the backdrop of the Abyssinian War, The Cursed Friend is a timeless tale of female friendship, navigating loss and adolescence, and finding the courage to speak out against the silence of a harsh, uncompromising world.

Translated from the Italian by Elena Pala

Beatrice Salvioni was born in Monza in 1995 and now lives in Turin, Italy. A recent graduate of the Scuola Holden, she won the 2021 Italo Calvino Prize for short stories. The Cursed Friend is her first novel and will be translated into twenty-two languages.


Product Details ISBN: 9780063234000
ISBN-10: 0063234009
Publisher: HarperVia
Publication Date: May 7th, 2024
Pages: 240
Language: English

"Bloody, unapologetic, and wild ... I loved it!" — Naomi Krupitsky, New York Times bestselling author of The Family

“From its opening pages, The Cursed Friend grabs the reader’s attention and doesn’t let go. Beatrice Salvioni has written a magnetic coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of 1930’s Italy and the threat of fascism. The center of the novel lies in the complicated and yet essential friendship between two girls, Maddalena and Francesca, and their journey toward understanding the boundaries of right and wrong. — Laura Spence-Ash, bestselling author of Beyond That, the Sea

"This debut grips your soul and never lets go" — Le Point

"A little gem that proves essential, confirming that Italian women's literature is undergoing a revolution." — Vogue Spain

"Reading The Cursed Friend, one immediately understands the reasons for the rapturous reception expected ...The intensity of the writing. The tight, believable dialogue ... the visceral and powerful friendship between two different but connected young girls." — La Repubblica