A 12-year-old Albanian girl is sold into prostitution in Italy; a boy is duped by a man who pretends he is a pigeon; an eight-year-old girl is forced by her grandmother to service an old man. Most of the 12 stories in Italian writer Dacia Maraini's chilling collection Darkness involve the betrayal of children by the adults charged with caring for them. Alicetta, a schizophrenic girl, is given baths late at night by a hospital orderly armed with sedatives; Tano, a tough 11-year-old, denounces his father for rape many times, but no one believes him. In spare, luminous prose, Maraini evokes the wary innocence of abused children and the perversity, confusion or stupidity of their parents and guardians. Linking most of the stories is Insp. Adele Sofia, who sucks on licorice drops as she ponders her cases. This is a moving, gracefully written collection.
Reviewed on: 10/01/2002 Release date: 10/01/2002 Genre: Fiction