In the Forest of Tombolo

In the Forest of Tombolo

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Description

"In the Forest of Tombolo" is inspired by the true experiences of an American soldier during the closing days of World War II. By the time John Squillace fell in love with Michelina Colonna, he had deserted from the American army and ended up with a group of renegades and deserters inhabiting a tract of wasteland near Pisa, the forest of Tombolo. The band consisted of Black GI's who had deserted in the face of the overwhelming prejudice they faced in their own army. A number of Italian women, including Michelina, had joined them in the marshes and woods along the coast between Pisa and Livorno, and there was also a small camp of German soldiers left behind when their forces retreated northward. Together, this collection of outcasts survived as thieves and middle men in the thriving black market. When American MP's finally break up the outlaw camp, the story was front page news throughout Italy. At the same time, the American poet Ezra Pound was arrested for treason, having spent the war making broadcasts for Fascist Italy, and imprisoned at a detention center near Pisa. John meets the fellow poet as a fellow prisoner. His first impression is that the old man is simply crazy, but then a line of poetry emerges from Pound's endless, anti-Semitic monologues, a line that brings to John's mind the woman he thought he had lost forever: "What thou lovest well remains, all the rest is dross." Before he can be reunited with his love, John is sent to the Pacific. When he finds her again after many years, Michelina reveals the great sorrow of her life. Desperate to save her infant son from an abusive father, she had abandoned the baby years earlier in New York. John vows to find the boy and convinces Michelina to return with him to New York. They search in vain for the boy, again encountering Pound at the mental hospital where he has been consigned. A common interest in poetry leads them to a friendship with Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac and only then do they meet her son, a protege of Allen's and a poet himself. Terrified that the young Gregory Corso will hate for her what she has done, she will not tell him that she is his mother.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 86 pages
  • 152.4 x 228.6 x 5.08mm | 181.44g
  • Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1514380897
  • 9781514380895

About MR Michael Cooney

Michael Cooney is the author of six novels and numerous short stories, inspired largely by the history of his native upstate New York. "Neither Rebel Nor Tory" and "The River That Flows Both Ways" focus on neglected figures from the colonial period. "Roxy Druse & The Murders of Herkimer County" is based on the 1887 true story of a woman hung for the murder and dismemberment of her husband. "The Red Nurse" is a tale of the socialists and anarchists who led the 1912 textile strike in Little Falls. "The True History of Joseph Smith" is the story of the Mormon prophet as seen through the eyes of his sister, while "The Great Monroe High School Fire" is a glimpse of the 1970s Bronx, a time when arson and crime destroyed large parts of the borough.show more