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Telling us this story is a writer, made famous when she was very young by a daring novel in which she staged herself. Now a grown woman, she has built a family and seems to have realised that writing for her was the fruit of a now dormant urge. But life takes it upon itself to show her that in order to truly know oneself, one must find the mirror in which to look at oneself, and it places in her path Clara, the actress who fifteen years earlier had been her double in the film based on one of her novels. Clara is still beautiful but her big green eyes sometimes become lakes of shame; Clara is hungry but swallows with difficulty; Clara has no money left, and finds the courage to ask for it from those she meets. Most of all, Clara needs to tell her story and suddenly this becomes a mission that concerns them both. For the two protagonists, a journey begins that unravels on the trail of the only food that – together with passion – can allow us to become who we are: money. After daring to put female desire at the centre of her pages, Melissa Panarello writes her most authentic and intense novel, which sets out to investigate another great taboo: that of money in the hands of a woman. The figure of Clara T. stands out in these pages like an ancient divinity devoured by her own lover, and with a firm voice she recounts the burns that success and wealth leave on the skin of those who pass through them, the traps that youth tends to set for the most fragile, the privilege and damnation of talent.

Melissa Panarello (Catania, 1985) is an author of novels and essays and a literary agent. At seventeen, she made her debut with Cento colpi di spazzola prima di andare a dormire and the book immediately became a literary case that Luca Guadagnino turned into a successful film. He has published among others the books L’odore del tuo respiro, In nome dell’amore, Tre and Il primo dolore.