It’s January 9, 1944: the first allied bombing of Pula. An eleven-year-old boy, who went out on a boat with his fisherman father, experiences that sudden upheaval as kidnapped by an amazing phenomenon, in a sort of exciting, romantic identification. In front of his eyes, in this way, the great historical laceration of Istria begins, where, a few years later, a heartbreaking exodus will take most Italians far away, leaving the few left in “a transversal, diagonal, jagged and bumpy life. It lacks a centre of gravity”. Miraculous catch, the crucial story of this book, is framed and subtly completed by two hybrid proses, between autobiography and essayistic reflection, about the most intimate nature of the Italians left on Istrian soil, about their uninterrupted dialogue with those who have left, and about the real danger that an essential human component of the Adriatic civilization will disappear altogether.
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Nelida Milani (1939) was born and lives in Pula (Istria), where she taught Linguistics at the Faculty of Letters and Philosophy. Author of international fame, in 2004 she was appointed commander by the President of the Italian Republic Carlo Azeglio Ciampi.