Bagheria

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In Bagheria, Dacia Maraini revisits the landscape of early memory. She describes Sicily in sensuous detail, the town of Bagheria, and the ancestral villa to which she returned as a child after two horrific years of imprisonment with her family in a Japanese concentration camp. The Villa Valguarnera and Maraini recalls the spiritual struggles and her rebellion against the elitism of her class. She also discusses her experience of child abuse. Bagheria is also a tale of corruption: centuries of the town's past ...
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Bagheria

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Overview

In Bagheria, Dacia Maraini revisits the landscape of early memory. She describes Sicily in sensuous detail, the town of Bagheria, and the ancestral villa to which she returned as a child after two horrific years of imprisonment with her family in a Japanese concentration camp. The Villa Valguarnera and Maraini recalls the spiritual struggles and her rebellion against the elitism of her class. She also discusses her experience of child abuse. Bagheria is also a tale of corruption: centuries of the town's past unfold alongside Maraini's family history as she details the involvement of the Mafia in the architectural decimation of Bagheria in the 1970s.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This memoir is crowded with recollections of Bagheria, the Sicilian hometown where the author's family had been nobility and to which they returned impoverished in 1947 after spending two years in a Japanese concentration camp during WWII. Italian novelist Maraini evokes the beautiful landscape, gardens and mansions, dips into the town's history and tracks down some of her living relatives and ancestors-rebels, tories and eccentrics among them. She deftly skims such topics as the sexual advances made to her as a child by adults, as well as her obsessive adoration of her often-absent father. Although perceptive and lyrical, the book-a best seller in Italy in 1993-is also somewhat hurried and provides more details of the affairs of a minor Sicilian nobility in a remote town than many American readers will care to know. (Apr.)
Deanna Larson
Bittersweet memoirs make the most interesting reading. This one, of Italian novelist Dacia Maraini, is full of contradiction and as pungent as black olives grown in Mediterranean soil. Maraini journeys back to Bagheria, her Sicilian hometown, to make peace with family ghosts and revisit the place her heart calls home. Tea with her eccentric aunt at the old family villa inspires refreshingly acute perceptions of family history and foibles, precisely remembered. Maraini encounters her past in every room, photograph, conversation, and landscape. She decries the blight of modern Sicily, its urban sprawl, the destruction of its artistic and architectural treasures, and the ruin of her family's estates. Yet she rejects her family's aristocratic pretensions and has no interest in its survival. She paints her self-portrait in dry, suggestive brushstrokes, with the natural self-possession of the aristocratic bloodline she was so desperate to reject. Maraini's assessment of modern Sicily is also a personal condemnation, a rejection, and a purging. Disenchanted and out of step with the rigid traditions of family and culture, she remains an observer who comes to an uneasy acceptance of that which has formed her.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780720609264
  • Publisher: Owen, Peter Limited
  • Publication date: 5/1/1995
  • Pages: 28
  • Product dimensions: 5.67 (w) x 8.82 (h) x 0.56 (d)

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