We have received access from Farrar, Straus and Giroux on Netgalley, to read an amazing book, “Deviation”, and I want to start this article by thanking them for this opportunity. Even though this novel was written in 1979, last month was published the first edition of its English version.
How Deviation was born
Luce d’Eramo was an Italian writer with a very tumultuous life. She was born in France but moved with her parents at a young age in Italy. When studying at the University of Rome, she became a member of the Association of Fascists Students. Although she was a firm believer in the fascistic doctrine, she was very disturbed by the news about the mass deportation and the terrible things that were happening the Nazi Camps.
I lay in a body that I could no longer feel, that supposedly belonged to me but did not respond to me…unable to destroy it because that damn body was alive, extremely vital, fond of living
In 1944 she took a job at a factory in Germany. After seeing the cruel reality, she started to take an active part in the resistance against the Nazis. She was imprisoned and tried to commit suicide. When she was released she returned to Italy, but soon after she joined a group of deportees so she could go back to Germany. She was sent to a concentration camp from which she escaped. In 1945, when she was trying to help some injured people, she suffered a terrible accident that caused her permanent paralysis to her legs.
After the war ended, she resumed her studies and earned a degree in literature and philosophy.
About the Deviation and final thoughts
“Deviation”, which is considered the most important work of Luce d’Eramo, is a combination of autobiographical fiction and memoir. Because of this, the book is written in both first and third person. The author probably decided on writing it this way because she wanted to draw a clear line between the young version and the more mature version of herself. To be honest, I cannot say if I liked this part or not. I found a little bit confusing and in some way felt like some sections were either missing or lost in translation.
However, I do recommend this novel. It had an impact on me and is a book that is worth reading once in a lifetime (especially if you are being drawn to books that have as a subject WWII or biographies)