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Lorenzo Marone, one of Italy's best-loved writers, tells us the story of Matteuccia, who as a young woman was a partisan courier (staffetta), and now enjoys the peace that only comes from asking for no more.
Matteuccia harbours a secret, and her aged body is stippled with people's malice like so many needle pricks. Her amorous years were spent amidst the war, together with her mother Angelina and her beloved friend Gentile. She was a partisan by necessity rather than by choice; she was part of that generation for whom doing one's duty was worth more than any act of heroism. She was a courier, bringing food, medicine, weapons and communications to the men in the woods, but she never felt like a fighter, she saw things in her own way.
At the end of the war, she could no longer find her voice and withdrew from the world of men, preferring to pursue the invisible. Even as a child, she learned to converse with the wind and the storms, and when she grew tired, she would take refuge under the big oak tree, in the wood beyond, as the locals called it. They consider her a communist, a feminist, a madwoman, because few remember the past she bears.
The past that took away her speech and has followed her like a black shadow for a lifetime. A past that she must now reckon with.
Lorenzo Marone (Napoli, 1974) has published La tentazione di essere felici (Longanesi, 2015; Stresa Prize 2015); La tristezza ha il sonno leggero (Longanesi, 2016); Magari domani resto (Feltrinelli, 2017; Selezione Bancarella Prize 2017); Un ragazzo normale (Feltrinelli, 2018); Tutto sarà perfetto (Feltrinelli, 2019), La donna degli alberi (Feltrinelli, 2020) and the essays Cara Napoli (Feltrinelli, 2018) and Inventario di un cuore in allarme (Einaudi, 2020). He has a Sunday column in the Naples “La Repubblica” and contributes to " tuttolibri ". He is translated in seventeen languages.
Release date: 2021
Dimensions: cm 14 x 19