Milan, August 1. (askanews) – “In the face of threats, death, women are able to make a difference”: Giovanna Botteri writes in the preface to Veronica Passeri’s book “Penelope to the plague – The pandemic told by women” which leaves for Castelvecchi for now in ebooks and then in print from September. It is precisely the phrase of Botteri, which recounted wars and catastrophes across the world, seems to fit perfectly with the book by Veronica Passeri, who, starting from her being a journalist, focused on the female universe during one of the great tragedies, still in course, of our hyper present.
The volume collects fourteen stories in the quarantine, fourteen voices of women protagonists of the emergency and the restart, with their lives and their gaze on Italy at the time of Covid-19. There is Barbara, an anesthesiologist, and her cry of accusation – “There are too many people around!” – while in hospitals we die and there are no respirators and beds; there’s Nicole, a psychologist, who listens to the ghosts of health workers at the end of the shift; Lucia, a physicist, who looks at the pandemic – and Italy – from China; Rosanna, who celebrates her eighty-six years behind a glass, but when she hears a mermaid she comes back as a child, it is again 1943. And then there is Irene, six years old, the grandparents’ house that seems to have “disappeared” from the landing and c is Cinzia, who sees her women giving birth more and more alone. Voices of struggle and resistance told by Veronica Passeri, true stories that retrace the great suffering and hidden beauty of the last few months.
Different, transversal glances would once have been said, in a world, that of women, which is wider than its own definitions and that Passeri’s sensitivity knows how to touch in interesting ways, as a reporter, but also as a narrator, with sensitivity, for example, in the story of little Irene, to understand that tragedies are also very small, on the borders of that surreal, but very deep, imagination that belongs to boys and girls. And to tell what is basically not understood is, on closer inspection, the job of writers.