In this highly-lauded novel, a filmmaker meets a woman named Cosima at an Italian espresso bar, spinning a gorgeous tale of love and the creative process.
An auteur, together with his lead actors, is at a prestigious European festival to premiere his latest film. Alone one morning at a backstreet café, he strikes up a conversation with a local woman who takes him on a walk to uncover the city's secrets, historic and personal. As the walk unwinds, a story of love and tragedy emerges, and he begins to see the chance meeting as fate. He is entranced, wholly clear in his mind: her story must surely form the basis for his next film. This is a novel about cinema, flâneurs, and queer love -- it is about the sometimes troubled, sometimes ecstatic creative process, and the toll it takes on its makers. But it is also a novel about stories, and the persistent question of who has the right to tell them.