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Allied EncountersThe Gendered Redemption of World War II Italy$
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Marisa Escolar

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780823284504

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823284504.001.0001

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Happily Ever after Redemption

Happily Ever after Redemption

Luciana Peverelli’s “True” Romance Novels of Occupied Rome

(p.66) 3 Happily Ever after Redemption
Allied Encounters

Marisa Escolar

Fordham University Press

This chapter introduces two popular romance novels (romanzi rosa) by Luciana Peverelli. Published while the occupation of Rome was unfolding, La lunga notte (1944; The Long Night) and its sequel Sposare lo straniero (1946; Marry the Foreigner) treat those traumas using a hybrid form that results in arguably the earliest Italian fictional Holocaust narrative that represents the deportation of the Jews to camps and the Fosse Ardeatine massacre; unconscious of how its own anti-Semitic logic facilitates the deportation that it condemns, La lunga notte’s paradoxical treatment of Judaism aligns with dominant postwar Italian attitudes. Set during the Allied occupation, the sequel argues for the hybrid genre’s privileged position in narrating the transition back to “reality,” when the heroines become war brides, an often-vilified figure who proves an adept intercultural intermediary. Challenging preconceptions of the romance, La lunga notte and Sposare lo straniero alter the requisite happy ending for those “redeemed” by marriage.

Keywords:   anti-Semitism, Fosse Ardeatine, Holocaust, Italy, Luciana Peverelli, romance, romanzo rosa, Rome, war brides, World War II

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