It is 2009: writer Clara Burger arrives in Rome to sort out the affairs and clear the flat of her school friend Ines, prematurely dead from cancer.
Sorting through Ines' belongings, Clara finds a manuscript containing not only an autobiographical account of Ines' strange experiences while working as a chambermaid in Rome in the summer of 1978, but also the life story of her former employer, the hotelier Emma Manente. Originally from Italy's German-speaking enclave South Tyrol (like Clara and Ines), Emma first comes to Rome in the late 1930s and becomes an eyewitness to the capital's turbulent past and present: Mussolini's fascist regime, the Nazi occupation and an uneasy postwar democracy threatened by corruption and extremism.
In a sweeping tale of remembrance and reconciliation, of lives unfulfilled and loves unrequited, "Roman Elegy" interweaves the personal stories of three resilient women with a fascinating historical narrative of the Eternal City, in all its contrasting squalor and beauty, compassion and savagery.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 320 pages
- Publisher: Haus Publishing
- Publication Date: 23/05/2013
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9781908323101