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It is strange how this happens with authors. For a period some book, piece, or aspect of their personality pushes itself to the front. Meanwhile, others await their moment and come along again. Fallaci’s work is strong meat certainly, but it is also fortifying, invigorating and unarguably awe-inspiring. It is not just the ceaseless passion, rage or pride, but the desire to keep digging, in question after question, aiming them at herself as well as at others. Always there was that effort to get to the very root of things, whether the truths of motherhood and womanhood, the desire to get to the moon (the subject of her 1966 book If The Sun Dies) or her endless returnings to the nature of war — a thing she hated with all her being. With these subjects, among others, she dug and dug until she was able to come back up to her readers, cradling some truth.

By the end of Nothing and Amen she has an answer for the little girl who asked that great question of her at the start. By then Fallaci has returned not only from the war in Vietnam, but from Mexico, where she reported on the student riots taking place ahead of the 1968 Olympics. She got caught up in the massacre at the Plaza de las Tres Culturas when the army began firing on the demonstrators. A German reporter beside Fallaci was killed instantly. She was shot repeatedly and left for dead. There were always some who claimed that she over-egged it: that she talked up her own involvement in things, including her own bravery. Truthfully it is hard to think of any man or woman of recent memory who was as consistently, almost pathologically, brave in war zones as on the page.

And that question that was put to her? After staring down death, life and love, Fallaci tells the little girl that life “is something you’ve got to fill up well, without wasting any time. Even if you break it by filling it too full.” If that is the measure of a life then there is only one word that needs to be said of their author: “Brava, la Fallaci. Brava.”
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genni pavone
November 14th, 2017
7:11 AM
Oriana Fallaci is an Italian hero, one of those that make me proud to be Italian. I'm sure that when corruption and mafia will be things of the past and an honest genuine Government will rule in Italy, Oriana Fallaci will be greatly honoured as she surely deserve!

Perla
October 25th, 2017
5:10 PM
Thanks for an interesting piece and, as always,in your great style of writing

aavid
October 25th, 2017
8:10 AM
after reading your excellent book, it is a coincidence that my first thought was what a shame that it was devoid of the passion that ORIANA burned into her texts. no doubt you would have been hung out to dry if it had- so you are excused! never forget this wonderful lady!

Verity True
October 24th, 2017
7:10 PM
A brave and wise writer salutes a brave and wise writer!

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