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Dove non mi hai portata. Mia madre, un caso di cronaca

When Lucia and Giuseppe arrive in Rome, it is the summer of 1965. They have their eight-month-old daughter with them, they are in love, but they cannot shake the restlessness felt by those who are hunted. Because Lucia has fled from an abusive husband she had been forced to marry and who humiliated her every day, and has tried to build a new life with Giuseppe. According to the law of the time, however, the woman was guilty of serious offences: adulterous affair and abandonment of the marital roof. Before slipping into the waters of the Tiber in mysterious circumstances, the couple leaves the child on a meadow in Villa Borghese, trusting that someone will take care of her. More than fifty years later, that little girl, herself a mother, sets out to reconstruct what really happened to her parents. Like a detective, Maria Grazia Calandrone reconstructs the sequence of Lucia and Giuseppe’s movements, enumerates the objects abandoned behind them, inquires about the time it takes for a body to die in water and how the post office worked in 1965, in order to understand when and where her parents sent the letter to l’Unità in which they explained their gesture in a few words. After Splendi come vita, in which the author tackled the difficult relationship with her adoptive mother, Dove non mi hai portato explores an even more intimate and complex knot. Investigating her parents’ story thanks to the news articles of the time, Calandrone brings out a portrait of an Italy tired of war but not of coercive rules. A country that drove a strong and vital woman to feel lost and with no way out. To the point of paying with her life for her choice of love.

Maria Grazia Calandrone is a poet, writer, journalist, playwright, visual artist, author and anchorwoman for RAI. She writes for the Corriere della Sera and holds poetry workshops in schools and prisons. She has won important prizes with her books of poetry. Her latest work, Splendi come vita (Ponte alle Grazie 2021), entered the Strega Prize dozen. For Einaudi, she published Dove non mi hai portata (2022).