The story of the birth of the first Italian industrial village, Crespi d’Adda, now a UNESCO heritage site, is told by Alessandra Selmi in the novel “This side of the river” (North). It was Cristoforo Crespi, in 1877, who started the construction of the cotton mill and the village which was truly an absolute novelty for the times because next to the company there were the homes of the workers, there was the school, the church, all the activities necessary. A first example of welfare. Cristoforo Crespi was part of a family of dyers: they dyed pieces of fabric that they went to sell throughout northern Italy. But Cristoforo is ambitious, he wants to take a step forward and has the dream of creating a village where workers can live in dignity.
In the second part we talk about “The gingerbread house”the latest novel by the American Jennifer Egan famous for “Time is a bastard” which had won the Pulitzer Prize in 2011. This new novel (Mondadori – translated by Gianni Pannofino) it is articulated and complex, a series of characters appear that had already appeared in “Time is a bastard” but it is not a sequel. At the center is the invention of a technology guru, Bix Bouton, whom at the beginning of the novel we see demoralized and without more ideas. He then he creates a particular machine, a cube, in which anyone can transfer their memory, their memories, and can have access to those of other people who have done the same. A creation that generates confusion: there are those who benefit from it by shedding light on the episodes of the past and those who avoid it.