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Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

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Translated by Jamie Richards

Part of the Sélection Officielle Angoulême 2018
Winner of the Carlo Boscarato Prize 2016
Winner of the Lo Straniero Prize 2016
Winner of the Attilio Micheluzzi Prize 2017 for Best Writing


In a forsaken corner of the Italian countryside, Guido and his friends Moreno and Katango spin out their days in languor and boredom intermixed with desire and, occasionally, violence. Nearby live the Stančič, a family of Romani who escaped the communist regime of Marshal Tito and settled here just after World War II. Guido’s coming-of-age is changed by the evolving relationship that the rural town has with this group of outsiders, these “gypsies.” The author is unsparing in his depiction of the townspeople’s cruelty. And yet, there are also many instances of solidarity between Guido’s community and the Stančič. Reviati’s first book in English, Spit Three Times is an extraordinary story of young men, disillusioned and trying to find their way, caught in the breach between post-war exuberance and the stagnation of the early twenty-first century.

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“Haunting and dreamlike, Reviati’s tome threads together the coming-of-age story of Guido, a teenage slacker who struggles to express himself, and the saga of the Stançiçs, a Roma family living on the margins of their small Italian town... Throughout, Reviati probes the intersection of history and memory, composing in fragments that double back on themselves. Reviati’s pen-and-ink lines are confident: shadows heavy, faces half blank but elegantly realized... [T]hose willing to slip into the town’s mysteries will be rewarded by Reviati’s stylish, brooding art, which captures the ache of losses small and large.”

“Reviati’s depiction of the life and cultural realities of the Roma, and the idea of a non-territorial nation, is a healthy corrective to the 21st century’s obsession with national borders and their military enforcement. His drawings and text evoke a palpable sense of nature, weather and a spatial freedom that crosses all borders.”

“A masterpiece in black and white.”

“In Davide Reviati's Italian graphic novel violence and vulnerability magnificently coexist.”

“More than 500 pages and they read like they were less than half as many. Thanks to the impressive fluidity of the montage and the lightness of the writing.”

“Integration, drugs, secrets, ignorance, wisdom, rural depression, dreams, threats, coming of age: this and much more is summoned by Reviati's imagistic poetry. You'll find your eyes glistening once again.”

Spit Three Times is a fairy tale/fable both ancient and modern at the same time. It sucks you in with its raw reality and then launches you into dreams, nightmares, and fantasies that have been embedded in our collective unconscious for ages upon ages. And above all, I believed every moment... every image... very word.”

Davide Reviati  is an Italian cartoonist and illustrator (for il ManifestoLa Stampa, and L’Unità among others), and screenwriter. His graphic novel Morti di sonno (Coconino Press, 2009) won the 2010 Napoli Comic Con, and the dBD prize for best foreign comic for its French edition (Casterman 2011). Sputa tre volte (Spit Three Times) was published in Italy in 2016 after seven years of crafting story and illustrations.