Shortlisted at the Costadamalfilibri 2020 Award
Literary & General
Giuseppe Foscari lives in Cava de 'Tirreni, at the gates of the Amalfi Coast. He has been collaborating for years with various newspapers and has his own space on Salernosera.it, on which he analyzes facts of the Italian and international social and political reality every week. He teaches Modern and Contemporary History at the University of Salerno. He is the author of numerous essays relating to him about him.
In an ironic and nostalgic language, this novel tells the story of a man from southern Italy, Francesco, who in 1965 went to the United States to fetch the sister of his deceased wife back to Italy and go to a new wedding with her.
The presence of the "American" has a strong impact on the locals, in a place where traditions and behaviors shaped by the recent experience of fascism are still preserved. What appears to be Maria's extravagance, and of her daughter Susy, who joins her in Italy, affects the behavior of some local girls, who try to raise their heads against the authority of their fathers and men in general.
In the narration, memories of the last war intertwine, with families split by adherence or aversion to the fascist faith, in a difficult recomposition that twenty years later still conditions relationships.
Three years are enough to blow up the old-fashioned long-established schemes, so much so that even before '68 the community tastes the wind of cultural and social transformations.
"'L'Americana' focuses on the eternal conflict between the flexible, modern, adaptive mentality of those who come from a big city, in this case a brilliant and very human American woman, and the retrive closures typical of small centers, as here a small village in southern Italy, where conventions and certainties full of bigotry reign, along with pretentious backwardness and ill-concealed envy." - Aise, 9th Oct. 2019