Crime fiction, currently the most popular genre in Italy, has been a powerful vehicle for representing deep-rooted evils such as corruption, criminality and political violence in Italian society or bringing to the fore the memory of past crimes. Rather than an entertainment genre, Italian crime fiction has often been a tool for highlighting injustice. Investigative fiction has evolved into noir, a hybrid genre constantly changing, often in combination with other types of texts. Recognised as...[Show more] the Italian capital of noir, Bologna (Emilia-Romagna, Northern Italy) continues to produce striking writers. Marilù Oliva, embodies today’s noir Bologna, at once continuing, as well as revolutionising Italian noir, with the Trilogia della Guerrera [Woman Warrior Trilogy]. In her three metropolitan noir novels Tú la pagarás [You will pay for it] (2010), shortlisted for the prestigious “Scerbanenco Prize”, Fuego [Fire] (2011) and Mala Suerte [Misfortune] (2012), the last two winners of the “Premio Karibe Urbano” [Urban Karibe Prize] for the dissemination of Latin American culture in Italy, Oliva’s warrior protagonist overturns conventional crime characterisation. Inclusive of classic mythology, alchemy, Latin music and dance, the Trilogy is set against an inedited, magic Bologna, that of the noche salsera.
The protagonist, La Guerrera is an indomitable salsa dancer besides being a capoeira champion and a criminology student – an imperfect anti-heroine who rebels and fights against injustice. The protagonist’s connections and passions cross peoples, histories, cultures and literatures originating from all over the globe, helping her not just to solve crimes, but also reconcile with her childhood traumas. Crucial to this process is the concept of mezcla: being open to, and respecting difference and valuing other approaches to life, work, and crime solving. This article focuses on the tracing La Guerrera’s harrowing memories and some of the strategies that enable her to come to terms with her past, in relation to ‘trauma studies’ (1999) and ‘nomadic sustainability’ (Braidotti, 1994). On a personal and professional level, my fascination with crime fiction dates back to adolescence, similarly to La Guerrera, my current interest in noir, literary and cinematic, stems from a desire to uncover and fight against injustice, albeit it academically. (Carroli, 2008, 2010, 2013, 2015a, 2015b). [All translations from Italian Spanish and are mine].
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