Monica Acito was born in 1993. She grew up in Cilento, between the Calore gorges and the temples of Paestum.
She started writing as a child, and since adolescence has collaborated with print and online publications.
After graduating from classical high school she moved to the historic centre of Naples, between Forcella and Mezzocannone, and specialised in Modern Philology at the Federico II University. In 2019 she landed in Turin, where she attended the Scuola Holden. She was a member of the reading committee of the Calvino Prize and
her short stories have been published in literary magazines and have won numerous prizes. She teaches humanities at middle and high school. Uvaspina (Bompiani, 2023) is her first novel.
A birthmark under the left eye, as dark as a ripe grape embedded in the skin very clear: he was born that way, Uvaspina, so much so that he soon got used to being called by that name that identifies him with his spot. Uvaspina can get used to almost anything: to notary Pasquale Riccio, his father, who only comes home for meals and is ashamed of him; to the Spaiata, his mother, who after having set up Pasquale Riccio with her arts of chiagnazzara does not rest for having lost her own charm and pretends to die every time he leaves the house. But above all Uvaspina is used to his sister Minuccia, a little younger. Ever since she was a child, Minuccia is inhabited by an energy capable of unpredictable explosions, which precisely on Uvaspina measure their power: Minuccia holds her brother in check with her physical strength, with her cruel spites, with the acumen of one who knows how to strike at the point of maximum fragility, as when she tells him: “Your comrades were right, you really are a femminiello“. Yet only Uvaspina knows the deep trigger that makes her sister a strummolo, a spinning top capable of wounding with its swirling metal tip. And only Minuccia senses Uvaspina’s dreams, when the strummolo keeps her awake and can peer at his fine features in his sleep. Around them, Naples: the city of seething bowels, of the neighborhoods reaching for the sky, from the long tentacles immersed in the sea that faces and penetrates it, right into the caves of Palazzo Donn’Anna. It is precisely on this border between the city and the sea, between history and myth, that Uvaspina meets Antonio, the fisherman with two different colours eyes who reads books and is not afraid of blood, who knows how to sail as far as Procida and get a crybaby who doubted himself his life back on track. The purity of their encounter, however, will not be hidden for long in the caves of Palazzo Donn’Anna: the city draws them to itself, the strummolo turns and its lace will unite their destinies forever.