A Bench On Which To Rest ($15.00; Sept. 8; 128 pp.; 1-928746-02-0): First published in 1976, and now translated by its author's granddaughter, this is the disarmingly simple story of an Italian woman's emigration to Canada (in the 1930s) to marry a man who has instead deserted her, and of the life she makes, without him, though without ever forgetting him or their homeland. Climene is an appealing character: a trusting, hardworking soul who marries successfully (though her husband, a devoted fascist, is briefly imprisoned during wartime), prospers, and finally returns contentedly home to die. Maccaferri's unpretentious tale (it's really not a "diary") isn't new, but does effectively memorialize the optimism and faith, as well as the reality, of the modern immigrant experience in (North) America.
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