Neda Alizadeh Kashani is the translator of the book, which was first published in 2006.
“In the name of the father”: marks the beginning of the sign of the cross whereas “In the Name of the Mother” marks the beginning of life: with these words Erri de Luca introduces a text steeped in poetry full of soil and wind, yet never refined high-sounding, but almost smelling of dates and salt.
We all know the Blessed Virgin’s story and the Annunciation, the story of Joseph and the Holy Child born in a stable: the author makes us listen to the story by giving voice to Miriam/Mary’s thoughts with delicate skill.
The mother’s voice is far from any rhetorical politics, religion and law rhetoric; it testifies the exclusive relationship with her son, and she wants to protect him from the terrible mission that she senses he may have ahead as suggested by the Annunciation.
No mother wants her child to bear the cross. Every mother celebrates life’s miracle that is always a surprise and that is over that which represents the indivisible union of the spirit and the flesh.
This is a deep and lyrical book; essential and true at the same time.