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By Nino Ricci

“This is a marvellously told story, unbearably poignant…I can hardly think of a book I have enjoyed more this year.”
The Telegraph

“A beautifully paced and measured first novel. . .an extraordinary story–brooding and ironic, suffused with yearning, tender and lucid and gritty…perfect pitch and brilliant descriptive powers.”
The New York Times Book Review


Ricci_Lives of the Saints

Nino Ricci’s first novel, Lives of the Saints (1990) was an internationally acclaimed masterpiece, spending a stunning 75 weeks on The Globe and Mail‘s bestseller list, winning the Governor General’s Award, the W.H. Smith Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Betty Trask Award, and the Winnifred Holtby Prize, and was published in over twenty-five countries.

Published as The Book of Saints in the US, Nino Ricci’s debut is the first book of a trilogy, a dark epic of the immigrant experience that draws on some of his own experiences as an Italian-Canadian. The trilogy’s second book, In a Glass House (1993), has been hailed as “a haunting, lyrical, intelligent coming-of-age novel” and a “genuine achievement” by The New York Times Book Review. The Times called it “beautifully written and tireless in its pursuit of emotional truth.” The third book of the trilogy, Where She Has Gone (1997), was called “a delicate and soulful novel” by Time Magazine. Books in Canada wrote that the novels in Ricci’s trilogy “so amply demonstrate the author’s tremendous talents that we would be foolish as readers not to follow him down whatever road he next chooses to follow.”

“Extraordinary and dazzling.”
Times Literary Supplement

“An impressive debut…more will be heard from this author.”
The Guardian

“There is an inner strength in Nino Ricci’s prose which is apparent on every page…This is an outstanding first novel, acutely and sensitively observed.”
The Tablet

“Nino Ricci…has written a first novel with hardly a false note.”
The Observer

“Lives of the Saints is simple, moving and compelling.”
The Spectator

“Nino Ricci’s complex and skilfully fashioned tale of life in an Italian Apennine village offers pleasure too seldom present in contemporary fiction: full and involving characterizations, an exhilarating combination of tightly knit plot and episodic looseness, and a rich sense of lives lived truly communally, in conflict and in balance with one another…exudes a dazzling breadth and richness.”
USA Today

“A book to celebrate – a wise, poignant and poised novel.”
Wall Street Journal

“A fine, artful piece of work…a powerful tale.”
Washington Post

“Lives of the Saints is a gem of a novel, and its author is blessed with the rare ability to recreate the world entire and make us believe in it.”
The Globe and Mail

“This seems to me to be literature at its best, a sense of life lived, a sense of life felt, not without dreams, not without poetry, but without fakery.”
Toronto Star

“Ricci is a masterly writer.”
Books in Canada


Winner of the Governor General’s Award

Winner of the Books in Canada First Novel Award

Winner of the F.G. Bressani Prize

Winner of the Betty Trask Award

Winner of the Winifred Holtby Prize

Other Books by Nino Ricci