The multifaceted and conflictual world of Esquilino (a historic district of Rome), that sees the emergence of new realities next to the popular historic ones of the capital, finds an interpreter in Amara Lakhous, an Algerian writer and Italian citizen, whose novels represent true and ideal stories of struggles for the social inclusion of “foreigners”.
Particularly, he won the premio Flaiano (a literary award) for fiction in 2006 with the novel “Scontro di civiltà per un ascensore a Piazza Vittorio” (Clash of Civilization Over a Lift in Piazza Vittorio) and a film based on the novel was made by Eri Rai.
The true main character around which the novel revolves is precisely the lift together with Amedeo (Ahmed) which the people say is an immigrant even though nobody believes it because he speaks perfect Italian and knows the history of Rome perfectly well. He only says he comes from the South but does not add anything more. The epic clash among the people explodes with the homicide of a very well-known person in the district, called the Gladiator, and all the residents of the building are suspects and suspected.
His story slowly unfolds throughout the book and we will also discover if he really is an immigrant and if he really murdered the Gladiator.
But the book is not properly a thriller as the homicide is only a pretext to talk about something else. This novel talks about immigration, racism, tolerance, dreams and memories.
It is a collective novel, structured in brief chapters in each of which the many characters tell their own truth, interspersed with Amedeo’s diary, that tells his truth and the way he met the many characters of the condo in Piazza Vittorio.