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  • Caffe' letterario: I’m staying here (resto qui) by Marco Balzano (Free for all)

Caffe' letterario: I’m staying here (resto qui) by Marco Balzano (Free for all)

  • 16 Feb 2023
  • 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  • Honolulu and/or Zoom


Today only the church steeple of Curon emerges from the waters of Lake Resia. The alpine village stands beneath, attracting curious visitors and even a recent Netflix series. Marco Balzano dived into historical archives to uncover the personal stories, political divides, and environmental impact that were inundated by the building of a dam in 1950.

Resto Qui (I’m staying here) is a sweeping historical novel about a community torn between Italian fascism and German Nazism. Set in the Alto Adige region, on the border with Austria, it follows the life of a local woman, Trina, from the 1920s to the 1950s. In the beginning, the native German speakers are oppressed by the Italian Fascists, breaking up illegal German classes and deporting teachers. Nazi Germany becomes their liberator, only to hunt them in the mountains to press them into military service in a lost war. Finally, the post-war Italian state literally wipes Trina’s village off the map to make way for a hydro-electric scheme. The story is told in short chapters in Trina’s simple unadorned prose. Even though we know that the village is doomed, the story keeps its tension to the end, and we share in the villagers’ loss. This is very much a book about a place, and if you have never visited the Italian alps you will want to after reading this book.

Marco Balzano has written a poignant novel that beautifully interweaves great moments in history with the lives of everyday people. He was born in 1978 in Milan, where he lives and works as a high school teacher. In addition to essays and poetry collections, he has written four award-winning novels.

You can find both Italian original and English translation online (or email Chiara, if you’d like to borrow the Italian hardcopy).

Location: In person in Honolulu. If you live off island, we will try to accommodate your attendance on Zoom.

RSVP by February 9: Registered guests will receive an email with address prior to the event. You must have read the book to participate, grazie :-).

Safety policy: All guests will comply with the latest guidance for group gatherings.

Note: The Friends of Italy Society of Hawaii is not responsible for any liability, cost, and damages which could arise from the programs; and does not provide any refunds, except if it cannot deliver the program, for instance in the case of insufficient enrollment.

Questions: Email us at info@friendsofitalyhawaii.org.

Friends of Italy Society of Hawaii is a 501(c)7 non-profit organization | P.O. Box 1376, Honolulu, HI 96807 | info@friendsofitalyhawaii.org

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