ANNE MCPEAK is the managing editor of the Brooklyn-based magazine A Public Space.
On May 4, 1886, Chicagos anarchists and radical labor leaders gathered in Haymarket Square to protest ongoing police violence against the movement for the eight-hour workday. Although some leaflets in circulation at the event called "workingmen to arms!!!," most of the speakers at the rally discouraged any resort to violence.
I was sitting at the dinning room table reading The Plague. My parents and Madeleine all came in at once, like an intervention.
"Nancy," my mother said, smiling at me kindly and pityingly. "Madeleine is going to a party."
My mother had begun to repulse me lately. In a surprisingly obvious revelation, Id realized two things about her. She was a blinker; and she could only talk about superficial things. God, she could go on and on about food.
The twelve stories in Dacia Marainis Darkness are documents of horrendous crimes: rape, forced prostitution, physical abuse, murder. Throughout, Maraini takes a dispassionate tone; there is very little sympathy for the characters, including Adele Sofia, the police commissioner who threads the stories together. This dispassionate style serves to remind us that in our daily lives there are terrible things happening every moment, as we buy a cup of coffee, wash the dishes, or talk to a friend on the phone and for someone like Adele Sofia, this is nothing to get excited about.