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Readings by Rosa Lupoli

Life after the depths of evil
(which has no gender)

  Vita dopo gli abissi del male (che non ha genere)  DCM-006
01 June 2024

 Silvia Avallone, Cuore nero [Black Heart], Rizzoli 2024

Today, in Italy, about 600 boys and girls under the age of 18 live in IPMs, the penitentiary institutions made famous by the iconic TV series Mare Fuori [Sea Outside]. Cuore nero [Black Heart], the fresh winner of the Elsa Morante Prize, tells the story of Emilia’s life recovery, having spent several years in one of these penitentiaries. It interested me because it speaks about how evil has no gender and can reside even in a girl’s heart. It is a very powerful story and, at times, hard to digest, but it makes us walk alongside two people, Emilia and Bruno, who must somehow reclaim their lives from the deep abysses into which they fell during adolescence. These abysses were created by external circumstances but were amplified by their inability to regain balance. The intense confrontation of their unexpected, yet necessary, relationship slowly manages to restore hope. We discover, to our relief, that evil has not taken deep roots and does not determine their entire lives, but only a part of it. There is no religious dimension in Emilia’s journey, but the restoration of an Our Lady of Sorrows and the meditation on pain as redemption perhaps means more than many words that would have been lost in the wind.