Juliet Grames has delved into the family secrets of an Italian American family and the ways in which those secrets, as well as slights and injustices, can both cross oceans and trickle down through the generations. This quintessential American immigrant story feels important right now, and I highly recommend it.
— Lisa See

ON SALE: 05/07/2019

JULIET GRAMES ISBN: 9780062862822 | HARDCOVER ON SALE: 05/07/2019 | $27.99 | ECCO

ISBN: 9780062862822 | HARDCOVER
ON SALE: 05/07/2019 | $27.99 | ECCO

ON SALE: 05/07/2019


For Stella Fortuna, death has always been a part of life. Stella’s childhood is full of strange, life-threatening incidents—moments where ordinary situations like cooking eggplant or feeding the pigs inexplicably take lethal turns. Even Stella’s own mother is convinced that her daughter is cursed or haunted.

In her rugged Italian village, Stella is considered an oddity—beautiful and smart, insolent and cold. Stella uses her peculiar toughness to protect her slower, plainer baby sister Tina from life’s harshest realities. But she also provokes the ire of her father Antonio: a man who demands subservience from women and whose greatest gift to his family is his absence.

When the Fortunas emigrate to America on the cusp of World War II, Stella and Tina must come of age side-by-side in a hostile new world with strict expectations for each of them. Soon Stella learns that her survival is worthless without the one thing her family will deny her at any cost: her independence.

In present-day Connecticut, one family member tells this heartrending story, determined to understand the persisting rift between the now-elderly Stella and Tina. A richly told debut, The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna is a tale of family transgressions as ancient and twisted as the olive branch that could heal them.

Juliet Grames has written a magnificent debut, creating a deeply felt, richly imagined world based upon her family history. The dark beauty of Calabria and the promise of America sets the stage for Stella’s volatile life, which will be a fight to the finish as she survives a brutal patriarchy while navigating complex family ties and expectations. Moody, original and profound. Brava!
— Adriana Trigiani
Reading THE SEVEN OR EIGHT DEATHS OF STELLA FORTUNA is like listening to the rollicking stories of your Italian grandmother—full of memorable characters and speckled with fascinating bits of history. This is a fantastic and timely family story.
— Jessica Shattuck