Of love and War

Paolo Occhipinti

€ 14.00
Publisher: Cairo Editore
Pages: 176
ISBN/EAN: 978-88-6052-414-0

A small mountain village above Lake Como that also hosts some families evacuated from the cities, a handful of houses where by now only women, old men and children live. The men are all soldiers or they’ve gone into hiding with the partisans. There’s a young boy with a secret: his first love is Menica, a girl-woman who does housework for his family. One day Menica disappears and when the boy asks why he’s laconically told «She couldn’t stay here any more. I’ll explain it to you when you’re big».

Menica, a young woman with an untamed character and a provocative body, has ignited the fantasy of both the old and young males in the village. Above all, of Erminio, that rather violent youngster, perhaps a partisan, who goes around saying that she gave in to his charm. Then there’s a German soldier who can’t take his eyes off her but doesn’t dare make bold comments to her as the others do. But his gentle reserve manages to make a breach in the heart of the most talked-about girl in the village and she allows him one intense night of love.

A night that will be the prelude to a tragedy whose consequences will be whispered about for generations to come. In this first novel, Paolo Occhipinti opens a window on our recent past which has so often slid away into the collective removal. Bringing to life a passionate and intense female character, he narrates an era of sharp contrasts and inextricable ambiguities, where only a terribly slim line separates victory from defeat, good from evil.

The author
Paolo Occhipinti, Milanese, is editorial director at Rcs Periodici. When he was in university, he make his journalistic debut in Oggi. After directing Novella 2000 and Annabella, he went back to Oggi and stayed there as director for almost thirty years. He collected the best of his column of dialogues with Indro Montanelli in the book Caro Indro – Dear Indro (2002). Together with Serena Viviani he published il Dizionario lei-lui – The He-She Dictionary (2008), a “Bible” for the life of a couple. He has always cultivated the hobby of mycology and, in his youth, with the pseudonym of John Foster, was a successful singer. D’amore e di guerra takes its clues from a news story that really happened in Esino Lario, in the mountains of Lecco where the author is at home.

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