We meet Claudio and Donata – an old married couple – in a small imaginary village in the north-west of Italy, where they live there together in an atmosphere marked by melancholy yet with a peculiar levity. One winter night Donata is hit by a car while she crosses the street and her stay at the hospital gives her the chance to recall old memories and then suddenly finds the courage to make her husband a suggestion that will leave him breathless: she knows about his long buried secret, she had always suspected it because of some vague, lost look in his eyes all those years, and then she had it confirmed by some letters she’s found: a lost love, lost yet unforgotten. She now asks him to contact this person and investigate the nature of that love. That’s how we find out about Claudio’s past as a partisan on the mountains in Valsesia. In this flashback we are presented with years spent in hassle, fear and cold, during which he also lived an intense homosexual love affair with his fellow Franco. We also meet Sebastiano, a small child who makes the experience of killing a man, and Cristina, fierce lady soldier. We then follow their lives in the next decades, the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s. We come to know each of them through the lens of this candor where we first met them, where the two men meet again now after so many years, and where everything that happened was possible thanks to and shielded by this candor, which is not the candor of childhood but a different kind of purity: historical, resilient, lost yet unforgotten.
Giacomo Verri was born in Borgosesia (Vercelli) in 1978. He teaches in the middle school. His first novel 'Partigiano Inverno' was finalist at the Premio Calvino in 2011 and is translated in dutch.
Pub date: October 2019
Extent: 256 pp