The Edge of Europe
IN 1941 a young Italian Jewish woman flees her country following the promulgation of Italy's so -called racial laws. She arrives in the neutral city of Lisbon and spends three days awaiting the certificate that will allow her to emigrate to the United States. During her stay she meets Juan Ruben, an anti-Fascist intellectual who coordinates a network of expatriates working to assist refugees. Although emotionally and intellectually displaced, the young woman comes to recognize her exile as a rite of passage, as an opportunity to acquire a new awareness of herself. Her experience of displacement becomes most intense during an outing to Cabo da Roca, the westernmost point in Europe, whose cliffs symbolize "the last sign of earth, the end of Europe", yet also face outward toward the Atlantic and America.
With a clear and spare style, Angela Bianchini explores the theme of exile from a variety of perspectives as she offers a glimpse into Italian culture at a major historical juncture. Bianchini lives in Rome, where she was born and raised. She is the author of six novels and a frequent contributor to major Italian newspapers. Angela M. Jeannet is Charles A. Dana Professor of Romance Languages (emerita) at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She is the author of Under the Radiant Sun and the Crescent Moon: Italo Calvino's Storytelling and other works. David Castronuovo is an assistant professor of Italian at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont.