The Anglo-Ethiopian Society

Book Club - The Good Italian

Stephen Burke

Tuesday 11th August 2015

7:30pm, National Theatre, Upper Ground, South Bank, London SE1 9PX - all welcome


The Society's book club will discuss Stephen Burke's The Good Italian. Enzo Secchi is a loyal Italian colonial servant. He takes pride in running the docks at Massawa but is lonely and when his friend Salvatore suggests he find an Eritrean housekeeper to cook, clean - and maybe share his bed - Enzo takes the plunge and advertises. Enzo surprises himself by choosing Aatifa, a sharp-tongued Eritrean woman in her 30s with a complicated family life, who takes the job as a last resort. What neither of them had counted on was falling in love. But it is 1935, Fascism is on the rise, and Italian forces bent on invading Ethiopia begin arriving at the port. With them come new laws - including one forbidding 'Relationships of a Conjugal Nature' with Eritrean women. Meanwhile, Salvatore finds himself at the head of the invasion force bound for Ethiopia. Gone are the glory days of garrison life; it is a bitter campaign, laying bare all the brutality of Italian colonial ambition. Its consequences for Salvatore, and for Enzo and Aatifa as they contrive to hide their relationship in plain sight, will change all three lives forever.

The Good Italian is available in hardcover (ISBN 978-1848549142), paperback (ISBN 978-1848549173) and in Kindle formats.

We will meet in The Long Bar on the ground floor of the National Theatre.

If you would like to attend, or want further information, please email the Book Club.




The Good Italian by Stephen Burke is published by Harper Collins, London, 2005.
320 pages.
Hardcover: ISBN:978-1848549142
Price: £17.99
Paperback: ISBN 978-1848549173
Price: £7.99

First Published in News File Spring 2015

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