Clash of Civilizations over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio

Amara Lakhous, Author, Ann Goldstein, Translator , trans. from the Italian by Ann Goldstein. Europa $14.95 (131p) ISBN 978-1-933372-61-7

Lakhous’s prize-winning second novel is a social satire and murder mystery concerning an immigrant-filled apartment complex in Rome. After a murder in the building elevator, each occupant of the Piazza Vittorio—among these, Parviz Mansoor Samadi, an Iranian chef who detests pizza; Benedetta Esposito, an aging concierge from Naples; Iqbal Amir Allah, a Bangladeshi shopkeeper—gets a chapter to relate the truth as he or she knows it (or wants it known), apparently to the police. The odd man out, and the main suspect, is Amedo, a man believed by his neighbors to be a native Italian. The tenants are by turns outraged, disillusioned, defensive and afraid, and their frequently wild testimony teases out intriguing psychological and social insight alongside a playful whodunit plot, exposing the power of fear, racial prejudice and cultural misconception to rob a neighborhood of its humanity. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 08/11/2008
Release date: 09/01/2008
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