Black Cat
Black Cat
Black Cat

Lost on Me

by Veronica Raimo Translated from Italian by Leah Janeczko

Longlisted for the International Booker Prize

In this irreverent and hilariously inverted bildungsroman, award-winning and bestselling Italian author Veronica Raimo transforms neurosis, sex and family disaster into brilliant comedy reminiscent of Fleabag and Natalia Ginzburg’s Family Lexicon

  • Imprint Black Cat
  • Page Count 224
  • Publication Date June 27, 2023
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-6204-5
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $18.00
  • Imprint Black Cat
  • Publication Date June 27, 2023
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-6205-2
  • US List Price $18.00

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.

Tags Literary

Praise for Lost on Me:

Longlisted for the International Booker Prize
A Best Book of 2023 from Marie Claire, Financial Times, and Irish Times

“Smart, funny . . . a sharply tender portrait of a young woman’s becoming.” Marie Claire (UK)

“Raimo turns her wellhoned satirical gaze inward in this winning work of autofiction . . . With its stellar voice, Raimo’s inquisitive and vulnerable novel proves tough to put down.”—Publishers Weekly

“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.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Mothers and daughters are at the centre of a lot of the novels I’ve read this year and Lost on Me, by Italian writer Veronica Raimo is the one I enjoyed most. It is wild, funny and disturbing, all I ask of a book about mothers and their daughters.”—Roddy Doyle, Irish Times Best Books of 2023 Pick

“Wryly comic . . . a gleeful dance between truth and fiction.”Guardian (UK)

“Veronica Raimo has written a darkly funny novel of rhythm, subtlety and nuance, a challenge to its translator but one risen to here with remarkable aplomb. Leah Janeczko has taken a book pitched in a fuzzy area between autobiography and fiction, maintained its innate ambiguity and given English readers the opportunity to immerse themselves in a work by a writer who deserves as wide an audience as possible.”New European (UK)

“Intelligently spiky . . . this Italian bestseller turns a bizarre life into fidgety, farcical autofiction.”Times (UK)

Lost on Me stylishly evokes teenage years in a dysfunctional family . . . Excellent.”The Big Issue

“If you enjoy Deborah Levy or Natalia Ginzburg, then you’ll appreciate the writing of Italian author and translator, Veronica Raimo. Deeply original and with kudos from Naoise Dolan and Katherine Heiny, this bildungsroman follows Vero, a 15-year-old girl, writer and compulsive liar as she plots various bids for freedom, all of which are thwarted by her savvy mother. The film rights have been snapped up by Fandango, so look out for news of a future movie.”—Russh.com

“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

“When the book you start reading is immediately hilarious and deeply disturbing, you know you’re onto something special. Lost on Me is that book.”—Roddy Doyle, author of The Commitments

“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

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

“What a fresh, vivid and unpredictable voice, bursting with life, I loved it. Finally something that’s not like everything else.”—Karl Geary, author of Juno Loves Legs

“Veronica Raimo is the only person whose prose has made me laugh out loud since I was a teenager.”—Zerocalcare

“Niente di Vero is the naughty grandson of The Family Lexicon… Raimo has tapped the novelistic potential of her affections and, without succumbing to the temptation of stigmatizing them, has transformed them into comedy, perfecting a side of herself that pairs well with her prose: generous and benevolent humor. The result deserves all of the praise flaunted on the cover.”—Il Corriere della Sera

“An intimate, painful and sarcastic novel, one of the few things you can’t miss in this troubled and uncertain summer.”—Vanity Fair Italia

“Veronica Raimo… gifts us a desecrating and tender portrait of family that reels us in from the very first lines.”—Io Donna: Il Corriere della Sera

“Life’s obstacles enter Raimo’s novel and immediately become comedy thanks to her clear gaze and sharp writing.”—La Repubblica

“No one speaks with as much frankness and agility, no one knows how to dramatize with so little and without even a stage… Veronica Raimo is a stupendous comedian.”—La Stampa

“Veronica Raimo, protagonist and narrator, within this affectionate, highly explosive subject tells a story that nails us down with a powerful first person, clear and exhilarating.”—Marie Claire Italia

“Veronica Raimo manages to say with precision how difficult, uncertain, it is to exist. Thus one laughs a lot, and thanks to the fact that the writer does not, forgives oneself.”—Il Foglio

“I don’t think it’s possible to write a similar book without a certain abandon, without the right hand almost not knowing what the left is doing, without accepting a temporary condition of exaltation and thus oblivion of ones ego.”—Domani

“Raimo chooses irony and comedy as the perspective from which to depict herself in the most honest way possible and she succeeds, with a coming-of-age novel that ends with us all recognizing ourselves.”—Wired Italia

“The author wanders, jumps forward, stops, goes back, allowing herself an uncurtailed and marvelously unheard-of liberty. Many pages in this novel are so intense and unscrupulous that one feels the apprehension of being caught spying in a stranger’s mailbox.”—Esquire Italia

“There’s something heartbreaking in the grace with which Veronica Raimo lines up all the Great Themes of modern memoir… One feels like laughing and one feels like crying, not because of the content, but because of how Raimo writes it—because yes, the point of writing books is the writing.”—Harpers Bazaar Italia

“It is a real pleasure to witness from the front row this masterful variety show of one personality unfolding… How wonderful to be a woman in this world, uncertain, free of charge, and cheerfully problematic and because of this proud.”—Rivista Studio

“Raimo’s voice is original and true, and the Italian landscape needed it.”—L’Indiependente

“No one in Italy writes like Veronica Raimo.”—Le Frecce magazine