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piccolo

The latest addition to my website is Francesco Piccolo‘s Il desiderio di essere come tutti. This is a very political novel, telling the story of a man who is now fifty, born in Caserta, who joined the Italian Communist Party, as a result of Jürgen Sparwasser, scoring the winning goal for East Germany against West Germany in the 1974 World Cup. The book is about his political and intellectual apprenticeship, where he describes the key events in his life (love, his family relationships) and in Italy (the 1980 earthquake in Irpinia, Berlinguer (head of the Italian Communist party) and his alliances with the more right-wing parties, the kidnapping and death of Aldo Moro and, of course, the rise of Berlusconi) and relates them to his life. At the same time, he compares various events and concerns in his life with books and films and analyses the two together. As both the story of the apprenticeship of an Italian man and detailed examination of Italian politics over the past forty years, it works very well, though may not be for everybody. It won this year’s Strega Prize.