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Mussolini's Island

by Sarah Day

An accusal against the fascist doctrine, more precisely what it meant to the lives of thousands of homosexual men, this story made me conscious of the motives behind betrayal: can it ever be justified? The consequences of confinement, and the way the ordinary citizen was influenced by the regime are intensely moving. NON MOLLARE, do not give up on this book, a true eye opener, written in a clear, concise language, slowly revealing past motives.

Extract

Francesco almost laughed. It was so simple. In the end, it was always so simple. No different to the days of the dark streets in Catania, the way to get what you wanted. He could hear the carabiniere’s breathing quickening, saw the flush spreading deeper across his cheeks. For a moment, Francesco was back there, in the quiet alleyways, the thrill of feeling hands reaching around him in the dark.
He leaned in closer.
'I am not a whore,' he whispered.
Favero drew back. Then he paused, and looked around again at the arrusi standing watching them in the yard.
'Do they know?' he said.
'Do they know . . . what?'
'I can see that they don’t.' Favero smiled. 'The one thing that makes you different here. That singles you out. I know.' Their eyes met, and Francesco wondered if he really did. 'And . . . ' he swallowed, as the stammer threatened to return, 'I think I know why, too.'

Parallels

The Red Carnation by Elio Vittorini
The Art of Joy by Goliarda Sapienza
 

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