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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Amara Lakhous and a Clash of Civilizations

January 26 marks the beginning of Sentieri's Winter Book Club, the theme of which is the immigrant experience in Italy. The book is Scontro di civilità per un ascensore a Piazza Vittorio, the author Amara Lahkous.

Published in 2006, this satire takes place in the most diverse neighborhood in Rome. Eleven different perspectives on life in Piazza Vittorio, all centering around the mysterious "Amedeo," a beloved figure but also the prime suspect of a murder that occurred in the elevator of the building where they all live. Few of the characters are Italian (even fewer are Roman) and the apartment building soon becomes a microcosm of the ever-growing multicultural capitale. Delightful in its ability to entertain, this story combines tragedy and comedy, humor and serious criticism.

Lakhous himself knows a thing or two about Piazza Vittorio. Originally from Algiers, he moved to Rome in 1995 after receiving numerous death threats for his work as a radio journalist. Before writing Scontro di civiltà, he worked in Piazza Vittorio as a cultural mediator in a city-run home for new immigrants.

If you're interested in reading this fascinating book, there's still time to register. Registration and a payment of $150 (materials not included) are due by January 18.

The course will be meeting on four Sundays– January 26, February 9, February 23, and March 9– from 2 to 4pm.


Sentieri Blog Contributor

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