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The Angel Esmeralda

· The story ·

Fighting against the poverty and degradation of the South Bronx there are some religious brothers, the gang of writers led by Ismael Muñoz and two nuns, the young and pragmatic Grace and Edgar, an elderly and irascible woman. The latter, protagonist of the story The Angel Esmeralda by Don De Lillo written in 1994,  is struggling to understand and to be understood by younger nuns and by the surrounding world, a world which has been disheartened for so long  to the extent that one would think it does not deserve any help. In this journey of hope and despair, between love and fear, poverty and warmth, Sister Edgar runs into - she like the whole neighborhood – of a spectral apparition, on a billboard, of the face of a homeless child, raped and murdered " Esmeralda Lopez, 12, assumed into Heaven," as the graffiti artists write (with a spelling mistake) about that angel dressed in sweatshirts, pink socks, and white Air Jordan trainers on her feet. The crowd flocks around and "the news becomes so powerful that it does not need the TV or the newspapers", recounts the American writer, outlining the impact of what is perhaps an authentic miracle, maybe a simple and very human need for consolation. Sister Edgar is a woman on a journey; Don de Lillo does not understand her. But he is able to intuit her. (@ GiuliGaleotti)

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