Grazia Deledda, Neria De Giovanni, and Simonetta Milli Konewko
Around the Dinner Table with Grazia. Food and Cooking in the Work of Grazia Deledda, by Neria De Giovanni, highlights the love of Grazia Deledda (1871-1936) for Sardinians’ traditions, historic events, and food. It demonstrates how they follow an agropastoral economy and an extremely simple way of preparing food; they use vegetables and products from livestock farming and especially sheep; they respect traditional recipes, such as pane currasau, porcetto, and seadas, and conventional customs to conserve food as the preservation of fruit in the home attics. The selections of Deledda’s literary works that Neria De Giovanni proposed and remarked on in this volume evoke a passion for conviviality and congregation, accentuate the values of friendliness and sociability and may invite an intercultural dialogue and a mode of life guided by ideas of acceptance and respect for diversity.
The first history of its kind in English, this work reconstructs the life stories of over two-hundred girls and women who lived throughout the regions of Italy from 1878 to 2018, and were killed by members of the Italian mafia organizations, which include the camorra, Cosa Nostra, ’ndrangheta, and the United Sacred Crown. Each life history seeks first of all to identify the victim with her own name, and draw out the uniqueness and individuality of her life and history, as documented by scattered traces left in interviews, diaries, testimonies, newspaper archives, and Italian antimafia web sites. As revealed by their histories, many of the victims had no ties to the mafia, and were caught unawares, killed while occupied in common pastimes of daily life, while others died as punishment for breaking unwritten criminal laws dominating the diverse communities where they lived. Several lives chronicled here provide insights on both women who fought for freedom from the mafias and the right to truth and justice, and female victims of vendettas committed to settle scores between mafia men. While creating a space for their life stories in cultural memory, the resultant history of Italy documents the mafias’ systemic use of murder against women and young girls since the very beginnings of the criminal organizations. The victims’ lives and premature, traumatic deaths thus stand as strong evidence refuting the myths that the mafia does not harm women or children, or that the so-called old mafia protected them. Hot links enable readers to access a rich array of additional resources.
Ibtihal Salem and Caroline Seymour-Jorn
From the enchanted confines of her Turkish grandmother’s home, Maryam Abdel Fatah recollects the phases of her life, growing up in the tumultuous environment of Egypt in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Although the historical time frame of the novel takes us back some decades before the Egyptian revolution of 2011, it speaks to many of the issues and concerns that brought about that revolt—and indeed—to some of the broader concerns underlying the so-called Arab Spring. The story of Maryam’s young life details the tragic impact upon individuals of the lack of personal and political freedoms, and of an economy that provides youth with little hope for work and stable futures. Through its shifting and poetic prose, it also examines a woman’s deep-seated longing for meaningful connections with others in the same boat.
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