The Booker Prize shortlisting of Maaza Mengiste’s The Shadow King is the latest sign of rising interest in Fascist Italy’s colonial war in Ethiopia. The genocidal violence perpetrated against Ethiopians in 1935–6 was soon turned back onto European soil — and united Italian anti-fascists with the Africans resisting colonial aggression.
Anne Colamosca is an independent writer and book critic.
Author of Broadway hit The Women, the Vanity Fair managing editor Clare Boothe Luce was a dogged anticommunist. As US ambassador to Italy, she worked tirelessly to keep the Left out of office — and set a precedent for Washington’s meddling in democracies abroad.
One of the great Italian novelists of the last century, Natalia Ginzburg was long overlooked in the United States. Yet as Italy turns back toward the far right, this leading voice of the antifascist generation is again calling out to the present.