ROME. The writer Rosetta Loy disappeared Saturday night in her house in Rome surrounded by greenery on the Via Flaminia, which she loved very much. The ninety-one-year-old Roman narrator made her debut in 1974 with “The bicycle”. Loy had been a striking case in Italian literature in the late 1980s. His evocative historical novel “The roads of dust” (Einaudi) in 1987 had made the en plein: he had won the Viareggio prize, the Campiello, the Rapallo and also other literary laurels.
Never had a writer had in the same narrative season and at the same time so many awards, her work so celebrated paved the way for many other authors almost always kept out of the competition. Rosetta Provera, who had married the brother of director Nanni Loy, was the youngest of four children. Her father was a Piedmontese engineer and her mother worked in the capital. Loy’s literary vocation had been very precocious. She wrote her first story at the age of 9. She had to wait until 1974 to make her appearance on the scene of the Italian novel: “The bicycle” won the Viareggio first film prize and was highly praised by critics.
Later his stories will be translated into French and other languages. Loy was very fond of Molière’s language and had edited for the Einaudian series «Writers translated by writers» the version of Fromentin’s «Dominique» (1990) and of Madame de La Fayette’s «The Princess of Cleves» (1999).
Among his highly successful books there are also novels dedicated to the Holocaust, such as “Cioccolata da Hanselmann” (Rizzoli) and “La parole ebreo” (Einaudi). They are works marked by the sense of guilt of those who during the years of deportations and raids did not want to know or take a stand. Historical documents and family memories are intertwined in “The Word Jew”: the author, who lived in a prestigious building, had attended religious institutes run by French nuns and had a German governess, Anne-Marie, in her house.
The family did not join fascism. The father read theRoman observer, was observed, but when the racial laws were enacted in 1938, none of his men had the courage to ask himself where the neighbors or the little girl Rosetta was playing with in the park, all Jews, had ended up. With his refined writing and with her denouncing books, he profoundly marked the literary landscape.