Mangialibri since 2005 never a diet

Mangialibri since 2005 never a diet
Mangialibri since 2005 never a diet
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Joan is at the restaurant. She is in the company of a married man. The restaurant is called “Piadina” and its walls are covered with photos of old Italian ladies, with floured fingers, preparing potato gnocchi. Joan has in front of her a plate of Bolognese tagliatelle, seasoned with a thick rust-colored ragù and decorated with a sprig of parsley. When Vic enters the front door, Joan notices that, as usual, she is wearing a suit and tie. On the other hand, she has only once seen that man – who is her boss and she doesn’t like to be called by her full name, Victor – in jeans and a t-shirt. Vic is a courteous and intelligent man, with a friendly face and a deep generosity of spirit. He is the father of two children, a girl and a boy – the latter is mentally retarded, but Vic never mentioned it to him – he has excellent language skills and an impeccable report. Together, Joan and Vic frequented hundreds of restaurants: they ate big steaks in exclusive steakhouses, while the waiters flirted with Joan, convinced that Vic was her father, or a husband considerably older than her, or a lover. And indeed Vic and Joan are lovers. He is the art director of the company where she is employed. She starts out as an assistant to the editor, but then he promotes her as a copywriter. At first her compliments flatter her, but little by little she becomes convinced that she really deserves them. Meanwhile, the two begin to have sex. For several years the relationship goes on, until Joan’s life comes a man from Montana, Big Sky. With him, Joan relegates Vic to the depths of what a man can bear. Now there he is Vic. He is in that restaurant, in front of her. He draws a gun and fires a shot in the head. Her blood drips like liquor and Joan sees a reflection of her past in that blood. That’s why she then decides to take the car and leave New York …

Irresistible for men, bumper for women, depraved by her own admission, Joan, the protagonist of the novel by Lisa Taddeo – writer who lives in the States but boasts Italian origins: her father is Italian-American, while her mother is from Romagna – yes it uses a direct and unadorned language to tell a shocking and harsh reality. With an incipit that nails the reader to the page from the first line, Taddeo tells the pain and anger of Joan, an annoying and bewitching figure at the same time, who, chained to a past made up of wounds and trauma, in an atypical Los Angeles – retains none of the sparkling lights through which literature generally represents her – tries at all costs to approach a charming yoga teacher and at the same time tries to escape the revenge of her ex-lover’s daughter, the man seduced and abandoned who blew his head off in front of her in a New York restaurant. Engaged as usual to deepen the issues related to the complex world of relationships and the nature of desire, Taddeo uses a narrative technique that makes the flow of consciousness, intimate and unsettling, the engine of the story, through which the reader can learn Joan’s past, made up of abuse and violence, vulnerability and wounds, deep chasms and few happy memories. A very hard and ruthless narrative, in which at times one senses the disturbing danger of excessive indulging in trauma; a story in which the attempt to make sense of one’s past dominates; a novel that tells about pain and teaches, above all, not to judge and not to justify, inviting the reader to take on the role of the protagonists and understand their gestures and the ultimate goal, which is none other than the desire, common to all, to be loved and accepted.

The article is in Italian

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Tags: Mangialibri diet

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