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Distant Fathers

Marina Jarre More by this author...£10.99

Translated by Ann Goldstein

In distinctive, lyrical prose Jarre depicts an exceptionally multinational and complicated family: her elusive, handsome father, a Jewish man who perished in the Holocaust; her severe, cultured mother, an Italian Lutheran who translated Russian literature; her sister and Latvian grandparents.

Shifting between past and present, Jarre narrates her coming-of-age; first as a linguistic minority in a Baltic nation and then in traumatic exile to Italy after her parents' divorce. There, she lived with her maternal grandparents among a community of French-speaking Waldensian Protestants and experienced the hostility of fascist Italy in the 1930s. Published in Italy in 1987 and now translated into English for the first time, Distant Fathers probes questions of memory, language, womanhood, belonging and estrangement, while asking what a homeland can be for those who have none, or many more than one.

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