Marcello, an editor and poet, is on the brink of his forties. Like everyone in his life, including his sister-in-law, he’s writing a novel. This novel. This novel will be about women. Love. Growing older. Maybe even taking responsibility. But unfortunately for Marcello, the women in his life resist definition. They flit and flicker constantly between archetype and actuality: sirens and saviors, subordinates and savants, vixens and villains.
So Marcello cannot write plainly about love. Instead, he tries to write into the complexities of his many relationships: Eleonora, the junior editor, his former protegeé and sometime lover; Barbara, his claustrophobic girlfriend; his estranged gay sister; his elegant mother.
Fresh, frank, and painfully cool, Francesco Pacifico’s The Women I Love dives nakedly into gender, sex, and power. Set in a vivid and alcoholic Italy, it acknowledges and subverts the narrow ways canonical male writers gaze at, and somehow fail to see, women–illuminating the possibility of equity between people in love, in bed, in work, and in life.