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Readings by Rosa Lupoli

An act of love by (and for)
a mother

 Un atto d’amore  di (e per) una  madre  DCM-001
05 January 2024

Maria Grazia Calandrone, Dove non mi hai portata, [Where You Didn’t Take Me], Einaudi 2022

Maria Grazia Calandrone’s Where You Didn’t Take Me was nominated as a top five finalist  for the Strega Prize, 2023. What struck me about her volume is it recounts an unbelievable news story that took place in 1965, which happens to be the year of my birth. Until that moment, I had perceived the era in which I had been born as being full of promise and novelty. Instead, I discover that, in some ways, the society of that time with its still medieval laws could be so fierce that two young people chose death because they had no chance of survival!

The author, who was abandoned at eight months old, yet who set out on the trail of her parents to understand, without discounting, their terrible decision, recounts the story. The title refers to the last boundary where the author’s mother, whose name was Lucia, did not take her daughter, so giving her a chance to live. Lucia is a young woman from rural Molise, who was given in marriage to an abusive man. A meeting with Giuseppe, a mason from Rome who is married with children, gave her a glimpse of possible happiness. However, charges of infidelity and abandonment of the marital roof for Lucia, which would result in jail time, drove the couple to flee and make the deadly decision. This is a poignant, heartfelt narrative, which, with poetic and delicate prose, moved me, and involved me in the reconstruction of the events narrated giving me back the contours of the time in which my life took shape.