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Cazzarola!: Anarchy, Romani, Love, Italy (A Novel)
Cazzarola! is a gripping, epic, political, historical, and romantic novel spanning 130 years in the life of the Discordias, a fictional family of Italian anarchists. It details the family's heroic, multigenerational resistance to fascism in Italy and their ongoing involvement in the anarchist movement. From early 20th-century factory strikes and occupations, armed anarchist militias, and attempts on Mussolini's life, to postwar student and labor protest, and confronting the newest wave of contemporary neofascist violence sweeping Europe, the Discordias navigate the decades of political, economic, and social turmoil. Against this historical backdrop, Antonio falls in love with Cinka, a proud but poverty-stricken Romani refugee from the “unwanted people,” without a country or home, forced to flee again and again searching for peace. Theirs becomes a life-changing and forbidden relationship. Both are forced to reevaluate their lives and contend with cultural taboos, xenophobia, and the violent persecution of Romani refugees in Italy today.
“Might just be one of my favourite books of all time. I have never read a more delicate portrayal of a Romani woman in my life…I highly recommend to Roma and non-Roma alike. With the rise of neo-Nazi and neofascist groups throughout Europe, this book is definitely timely and a must read. It's a history lesson and a lesson about racism, love, and fighting for what you believe in at all cost.”
—Qristina Zavacková Cummings, Romani journalist/activist
“In Romani culture, when enjoying music we don't say, ‘Did you hear that?’ We say, ‘Did you feel that?’ I didn't just read Cazzarola! I felt it. As a Romani woman who has lived in Italy, this very relatable novel often echoed the pages of my own life. Bravo, Ta Aves Baxtalo!”
—Julia Lovell, Romani activist and filmmaker
"Cazzarola! is a powerful, blunt, epic scream against social injustice."
—David Lester, author of The Listener
“A brilliant title for a brilliant story of love and rage, which the author shares with his characters in every page. Cazzarola! reads like a film, a sort of Bertolucci’s Novecento recast in contemporary Italy. Nawrocki skillfully manages to interweave scenes of everyday Italian life and fine psychological analysis in a grandiose historical fresco."
—Davide Turcato, historian of Italian anarchism, editor of The Complete Works of Errico Malatesta
“A stunning achievement!"
—Ron Sakolsky, author of Swift Winds
About Norman Nawrocki:
Norman Nawrocki is the author of several books of poetry and short stories. He’s also an internationally acclaimed cabaret artist, sex educator, actor, and musician, and has released over 50 albums. He teaches at Concordia University, about how to use the arts for community organizing and radical social change, gives workshops about “creative resistance,” and tours the world performing theatre, music, and cabaret. Cazzarola! is his first novel. He has written and performed a theatre piece based on the book and released an album-length soundtrack to accompany it.
Author: Norman Nawrocki
Publisher: PM Press
Page count: 300 Pages
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