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3.99  ·  Rating details ·  507 ratings  ·  118 reviews
Haya Tedeschi sits alone in Gorizia, north-eastern Italy, surrounded by a basket of photographs and newspaper clippings. Now an old woman, she waits to be reunited after sixty-two years with her son, fathered by an S.S. officer and stolen from her by the German authorities during the War as part of Himmler's clandestine 'Lebensborn' project, which strove for a 'racially pu ...more
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by Maclehose Press Quercus (first published 2007)
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3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  507 ratings  ·  118 reviews

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Violet wells
“She has always been somehow weightless, free of the heavy burden of mother tongues, national histories, native soils, homelands, fatherlands, myths, that many of the people around her tote on their backs like a sack of red-hot stones.”

This is Haya Tedeschi who, at the beginning of the novel, is an old Jewish woman sitting in a rocking chair in the Italian town of Gorizia, near Trieste. She is surrounded by documents, photographs, cuttings. Her head is swarming with memories, “melting in her m
Elyse Walters
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Trieste is a city and seaport in northeastern Italy situated towards the end of the narrow strip of Italian territory lying between the Adriatic Sea and Slovenia.
This book by Dasa Drndic, had me 'google-reading' about the ancient history, the Middle Ages, the early modern days, 19th century, 20th century, ....WWI, annexation to Italy and the Fascist area, WWII and the aftermath, and the Zone A of the Free Territory of Trieste in 1947-54.

Any reader who loves storytelling -- will be enchanted at
The review below appears in The Quarterly Conversation, Issue 37:

In the opening passages of Daša Drndić’s Trieste, an elderly woman, Haya Tedeschi, sits in a rocking chair in her third story apartment in the Northern Italian town of Gorizia, close to the port of Trieste:

Is that the chair whimpering or is it me? She asks the deep emptiness, which, like every emptiness, spreads its putrid cloak in all directions to draw her i
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is Trieste, when the Nazis came. . . . and so, from one Trieste to another.

It helped to read Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere by Jan Morris first, giving me some sense of the history of the area and the people. A brief takeaway is that Trieste was once part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire as well as being Italian. And even after the duality stopped, Trieste was never quite all Italian. Maps changed, and names changed, but Trieste was still . . . well, Morris would say nowhere. Daša Drndić
Dov Zeller
Oct 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I've read reviews in which people call this book a brilliant novel, and in my mind brilliance is beside the point and whether or not this is a novel I could not say. It is a powerful weaving together of prose, poetry, oral histories and other historical documentation. A book in which a character tries to come to terms with her choices during a time of war, and for all of her years lived after the war, forces herself to look unflinchingly at her complicity and tries to unravel the mystery of her ...more
Roger Brunyate
May 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: holocaust, history
Behind Every Name There is a Story
Abeasis Clemente
Abeasis Ester
Abeasis Giorgio
Abeasis Rebecca
Zundler Henriette Cecilia
Zwirblawsky Enoc Hersch
Zylber Szaya
Zynger Jerachmil.
These are the first and last of a list of around 9,000 Jews from Italy or Italian-occupied countries killed between 1943 and 1945. Forty-four pages printed in four columns of small type, they stand like a granite wall separating the first half of this book from the second. Although visually the most unusual feature in this to
Paul Fulcher
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
For sixty-two years she has been waiting.

She sits rocks by a tall window in a room on the third floor of an Austro Hungarian building in the old Gloriza .The rocking chair is old and, as she rocks, it whimpers.
Foul breath fills the room (whose? whose?) fills the room, rising to a raging torrent and she knows she must arrange the pebbles around her grave stone, now, just in case, in case he doesn’t come, in case he does, after she has been expecting him for sixty-two years.

This is the 4th of
Lisa Lieberman
Assembly required.

Daša Drndić says she spent two years researching this book. Much of that time seems to have been spent online, downloading documents from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's collection and other Holocaust related sites. Witness testimonies, lists of Jews deported from Italy or killed in the countries occupied by Italy (43 pages of names!), photocopied photographs inserted, W. G. Sebald-style, into the text, transcripts from the Nuremberg Trials, capsule bios of promin
Postupak je isti kao kod Zebalda, ali je suština ispisanog kompleksnija i sama priča mnogo surovija, eksplicitnija, samim tim efektnija.
I da, bila bi odlična lektira.
Niente, io ad agosto leggo più che impegnato, riesco a essere bastian contraria anche sui libri da ombrellone.

Trieste è una lettura terrificante, un docuromanzo dove la vicenda di Haya e del suo bambino rapito è un filo per parlare di Treblinka. Di Sobibór (non ricordo di aver mai sentito parlare di questo lager in particolare, nel corso dei miei studi) e del terribile programma di Himmler per la perfetta razza del superuomo ariano, con le case per le donne ingravidate (volenti o nolenti) da SS
Mar 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: holocaust, croatia, c21st
Trieste, shortlisted for the 2013 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize is a shattering book, even if you’ve already read a few books about the Holocaust. That’s because it brings those events firmly into the present, not neatly tucked away in the category of events some would rather forget. Daša Drndić’s powerful story repudiates anyone who thinks it’s ‘time to move on, it was all so long ago’. The book, in revealing the existence of the Nazi’s Lebensborn Program tells us that there are men and wom ...more
in this brilliant novel with its mix of archival and historical and the STORY of haya, a jewish woman in gorizia, just north of trieste, one sees techniques of bolanos 'nazi literature' Nazi Literature in the Americas, mixing historical fact with the historical novel but told from the present day (as sad and horrific as this novel is, there are some funny parts, the nazi blowup doll for soldiers to get their nut off, but not have to worry about going to town or getting a disease [never released ...more
Jan 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una delle critiche che i sopravvissuti hanno fatto alla letteratura della Shoah è quella di non rendere mai abbastanza l'orrore con le parole. Gli stessi testimoni, grandi scrittori, come Primo Levi o Boris Pahor si sono rammaricati, per la loro (presunta) incapacità di testimoniare e rendere l'indicibile a parole. Perché l'orrore più grande lo fa la Storia, quando ti sbatte in faccia le testimonianze nude e crude, senza filtri, senza emozioni, perché sono parole di uomini "morti" dentro, sia vi ...more
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
More affected by this book than virtually any other. It is an example of why literature matters. Its virtues include its unusual structure/form, the astonishing degree of research that went into it, and its beautiful and poetic language (where it is able to have such language), as well as the remarkable work of the translator. Both the author and translator should have won prizes. I learnt much that I didn't know about what was done in Europe in the 1930s and 1940s, and that, of course, is impor ...more
Robin Friedman
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Holocaust And Trieste

I read Dasa Drndnic's novel, "Trieste" after reading Italo Svevo's famous 1923 novel "Zeno's Conscience" which is set in Trieste from the late 19th century through the beginning of WW I. At the time, Trieste was part of the Austria-Hungarian Empire. I was fascinated by "Zeno's Conscience", not least because of the praise and discussion it received in philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah's recent book, "The Lies that Bind: Rethinking Identity". Appiah sees the Trieste of Svev
Kate Lee
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I am a huge WWII geek. As in I will read practically anything under the sun if it has to do with WWII. I've read a lot of war novels before, but this one blew everything else out of the water. It is truly a war novel like no other.

The Ups: Remember how I said Homegoing was the most ambitious novel I'd read this year? I's definitely Trieste.

This book borders on the line between non-fiction and fiction so often that I can't even tell which parts are fiction or non-fiction. There are SO
Lee Foust
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inside this book there is a beautiful novel. Inside this book there's also way too much historical trivia. (I say trivia not to denigrate the war criminals and horrors it depicts, but because these characters and their deeds are recounted in snippets and lists, presented as if they were trivia.) There's also many scenes or testimonials of WWI, WWII, and post-war horrors. You will occasionally lose several pages to some particular act of brutality you know is historical fact and it will disallow ...more
Michael Livingston
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
A maddening but unbearably powerful book about the holocaust and the way it reverberates through generations. It's hard to read - Drndić compiles vast historical documentation and threads it through a fictionalised family's messy story -but the pieces eventually connect into something immense. There are no lessons here, but a witnessing - a clear-eyed look at monstrous evil and its implications.
Robert Lukins
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An amazing collage of difficult facts on facts on facts; it's brilliant and the effect is overwhelming.
La lettura deriva da un misunderstanding legato al titolo.
Pensavo parlasse di Trieste (certo se il titolo è “trieste” difficile pensare diversamente), e invece la città viene citata di striscio (per dire, metà del libro fa riferimento a Gorizia).
Il titolo originale è Sonnenschein (sunshine, luce del sole), ma l’editore inglese ha reputato che non fosse molto appetibile per il suo pubblico (in effetti pure dopo averlo letto, non è che la luce del sole venga citata molto più di Trieste, magari i
Bob Mendelsohn
Aug 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
I was distracted by the author's use of present tense throughout the book. Never allowed things to be put in time separation. Also it read more like a history text book than a novel. I was very hopeful over and over, but constantly disappointed. Sorry, cannot recommend it at all.
Un romanzo-documentario: così il sottotitolo. L’argomento è sicuramente interessante (Olocausto, campi di sterminio nazisti, la risiera di San Saba, l’Adriatisches Kunstenland, il piano Lebensborn, le colpe dei padri, i sensi di colpa dei figli, colpe di chi agì e di chi semplicemente ignorò, chiudendo entrambi gli occhi, anche tra gli stessi ebrei che rimasero ai margini delle persecuzioni: la stessa Haya (per metà ebrea e amante di un feroce ufficiale nazista), la protagonista: cosa sarebbe st ...more
Mar 22, 2014 rated it liked it
This is a shattering read filled with circumvention. Everything is written inside/out and without much chronological order or steady language use that might be considered a "normal" progression. Every violation over decades is all present tense. And so you "get" the horrific angst of living without sanctuary or flitting/ blending/ hiding from/to/with the constantly shifting violence and death arising from 3 combatting governmental and politico identities. German, Italian, Slovenian? And the lang ...more
Jun 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
An impressive work of "documentary fiction," a term I hadn't heard before but which describes the genre of "Trieste" perfectly. I've read little of the reality of WWII in Italy, and in the region of Trieste, where it was particularly fraught. The only concentration camp in Italy exists outside of the city. It's multi-ethnicity made it of particular interest to the Nazis, who along with Jews targeted its Slavs and leftists. The story is based on historical events and records, and taking the docum ...more
Feb 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An impactful book, but not an easy read. Drndić's style is to veil the fictional narrative over actual historical facts: archival records; newspaper clippings; photographs, testimony from various war crimes tribunals, family trees. In the middle of the book Drndić lists 35 pages of the names of the 9,000 Jews deported from Italy or killed in Italy between 1943 and 1945. She also includes biographies of the SS – their backgrounds, their crimes, their court proceedings, and in too many cases, thei ...more
Compelling. Challenging. Captivating. Drndic's Trieste illuminates the effects of WWI and WWII on a Jewish family of Italian/Slovenia ancestry living in what is now Gorizia Italy, Trieste Italy and Nova Gorica Slovenia. This story is interspersed with transcripts of WWII war crimes trials and other non-fictional accounts including mini-biographies of several Nazi's with descriptions of the horror they perpetuated in the death camps; especially Treblinka and San Sabba.
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fascinating. More like a symphony rather than a story. I found the premise of sins of fathers worthy of endless contemplation. Haya rememberers many devastating events of the holocaust, either from her experience, or by having familiarized herself with stories and events through family, friends, and the media. She pulls out mementoes from a box, one by one. The point is not necessarily about living in the past, but about attempts to reconcile with people, places, and events from the past.

Im conflicted in rating this. It's like she wanted to write both non-fiction and put emotion into the text. And we dont actually get a resolution, just excerpts from _The Waste Lands_.
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This documentary novel by Croatian writer Dasa Drndic is one of the most powerful and compelling books I have ever read, and deserves to become a classic of Nazi and Holocaust literature Centred around the family story of Haya Tedeschi, it tells of her relationship with an SS officer and the abduction of her baby when a few months old by the Lebesnborn programme. 62 years later the novel opens with Haya still waiting to be reunited with him after a lifetime spent searching, and reminiscing about ...more
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DASA DRNDIC was a distinguished Croatian novelist, playwright, and literary critic. She spent some years teaching in Canada and gained an MA in Theatre and Communications as part of the Fulbright Program. She was an associate professor in the English Department at the University of Rijeka.
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“And so it is that a new joie de vivre creeps into Ada's soul like a moth into a trunk of woollens.” 1 likes
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