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Melania Mazzucco’s Io sono con te. Storia di Brigitte (I Am With You. The Story of Brigitte)
(2016), the paper argues, articulates the existential and psychological condition of displacement
and vulnerability of Brigitte, the immigrant protagonist, and her cultural negotiation for
recognition as a refugee and asylum seeker by the host country, Italy. In I Am With You two
women meet for months, getting to know and trust each other. One is Brigitte who has fled her
country, Congo, having lost everything, including her children who are left behind. The other
is Melania, the writer, who listens to her and decides to give voice to Brigitte’s story. The novel,
a combination of narration and documentation, is the jagged and painful true story of the
protagonist’s fall from her small personal paradise to the hell of loss, violence and trauma. Her
arrival in Italy as an illegal immigrant is the beginning of a new ordeal as well as of a rebirth, in
a city, Rome, which is both inhospitable and welcoming, politically inadequate, and yet still full of
potential ‘miracles’. Mazzucco’s text will be examined and discussed in the light of trauma theory,
psychoanalysis and memory studies.
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