Materada: Fulvio Tomizza ; translated from the Italian by Russell Scott Valentino

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Northwestern University Press, 2000 - Fiction - 134 pages
Francesco Koslovic -- even his name straddles two cultures. And in the spring of 1955, in the village of Materada on the Istrian Peninsula, the two worlds of Francesco Koslovic are coming apart. A novel both lyrical and elegiac, Materada unfolds against the backdrop of the Istrian "exodus" -- the departure from their homeland of hundreds of thousands who had once thrived in the peninsula's rich ethnic mixture of Italian and Slav, Croat and Slovene. Complicating -- and hastening -- Koslovic's own departure is his vain attempt to keep land that he and his brother have worked all their lives.As Koslovic narrates the events leading up to his family's displacement -- and the feud that divides the family itself -- he brings a rare immediacy to the questions of ethnic identity that have rolled Central Europe in the twentieth century. A picture of a disappearing way of life, imbued with love for the tastes and tales and songs of his native Istria, Koslovic's story is also a testament to the inextricably intertwined ethnic roots of Balkan history.

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