Aldo Zargani gave us an astonishing literary debut with his For Solo Violin, a wrenching tale, salted and relieved with resilient humour, of how a Jewish boy from Turin, and his brother, hidden in a Salesian boys school, survived the lethal pursuits of Nazi-fascism in Italy. Now, in his new book, he tells us about the post-war cornucopia of lives from which the survivor could choose. He cast himself with Zionism, for an Israel where the Wandering Jews could find a new, socialist, home. That familiar, an "historical movement". Zargani reminds us that history is finally about how people live within these movements - he gives us the personal face behind the abstraction. Hopes for a Jewish homeland thrive with young love for a Jewish girl, played out in her family's summer home, where he is tossed from kisses, sea swims, and "political" camp outs energised by heated debates. Thus is his adolescence consumed on his way to adulthood.
Aldo Zargani worked from 1954 to 1994 for the Rai (Italian television), first in Turin, then in Rome.