Book Cover

Trieste by Dasa Drndic

4/5 stars
Book review by Ryan Rushton.
Published 29 February 2012

Many contemporary writers believe that in order to overcome the sense of ineffability surrounding the horrors of the Holocaust one must attempt radical innovations in form and content. One may therefore question what impact an essentially historical novel such as Dasa Drndic's Trieste can have? Surely at this stage there is little else to be revealed in terms of the events which led to the rise of Nazism, the ruthlessly efficient extermination of so many lives and the eventual downfall of the Axis powers?

Perhaps the principal success of Trieste then is the seemingly natural ease with which it weaves its fictional protagonists into real personal histories, previously marginalised local events, and the broadest levels of international conflict. The novel tells the story of former maths teacher Haya Tedeschi and her Jewish/Catholic family before, during and after the war. Through them we are given the wartime events of their home town Gorizia and neighbouring city Trieste, both emblematic examples of the persecution Italian Jews faced and that have perhaps been overlooked by history. The novel feels ideal for contrasting the human loss of the Holocaust with the methodical evil that caused it and can be added to the most potent of its genre.


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  • For those interested the first third of the book is based extremely closely (but without acknowledgement so far) on my mother's autobiography - just google fjgent to find it. Sometimes fact is even stranger than fiction. The writer does set many of the events of my mother's life firmly and clearly in their historical context.

    Posted by Frank Gent | Wednesday 29 February 2012 @ 17:16

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  • I would like to see my brother's publication of my mother's autobiography, 'My Mother's Family', acknowledged too. As would my mother!
    You may find it easier to Google 'fggent my mother's family' to read the original.
    We are hoping to hear soon that 'My Mother's Family' will be acknowledged in further editions of Dasa Drndic's book.
    Rina Gent
    Sister of Frank Gent
    Daughter of Fulvia Schiff-Gent

    Posted by Rina Gent | Monday 05 March 2012 @ 22:08

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  • The above comment suggesting plagiarism is quite a serious one and I noticed that the same allegation has been made on the Amazon site as a customer review. This is rather disturbing. I'd like to hear the author or publisher's version.

    Posted by Dale Pobega | Friday 22 June 2012 @ 11:40

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    I think the above link answers all the questions above. Action was taken not for monetary gain....none was asked for or received. Just that the truth was acknowledged which it has now been by the publishers and the author.

    Posted by Rina Gent | Monday 16 December 2013 @ 12:50

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