Curator Reviews

Maaza Mengiste

Drndic passed away not long ago, and it is only now that she is getting the attention she deserves. I met her several years ago, after reading this book, and I was profoundly impacted by both experiences. Set in Trieste during the Nazi occupation of Italy, Drndic finds a way to meld historical documents, photographs, and fiction to create something wholly her own. The story that unfolds is kaleidoscopic and mesmerizing, while never straying far from those lives it is resurrecting through the sheer act of speaking their names. The book “pauses” midway to list every single one of the 9000 Italian Jews killed during the Holocaust. I can hear Dasa: furious, impassioned, and compassionate in every page.

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