Review (Armando Editore 2018)
by Roby Guerra
It seems like a modern fairy tale with the classic happy ending and the author is nowadays a well-known writer of children's books. And maybe in a few centuries this book will be perceived like one of them. Instead, it is a dramatically autobiographical book.
It was 1979, someone in the West pre Radical Chic and pompously progressive, actually communist, praised the so-called Islamic revolution of Khomeini. On the other hand, Iran, ex Persia, even cradle of civilization, entered a nightmare which still persists, despite two wars in the western gulf, the fall of Saddam himself, etc.
In the Persia of the so-called Scià and Soraya, needless to say ... a regime that was not so democratic but at least characterized by a certain Western modernity, including some rights for women.
A lucky girl, the daughter of a well-off family, is struck by a metaphorical shower of revolutionary radiation and engages in a long escape towards Europe.
Only at the end of a long journey, with her childhood and dreams slaughtered, the little Lily, who is the author herself (and her family) will find in Switzerland conditions of relative balance and gradually the peace they seemed to have lost.
Becoming adult, Lily Amis will achieve the "perfect" integration: graduate in Web Marketing, writer and illustrator for children, an activist for civil and human rights, also known by the general public since 2015, after another the umpteenth crisis in Syria, still related to the civil war and the problem of political refugees: almost a circle that closes, but just mockingly ... a replay of her experience with the original Islamic revolution in Persia, fortunately in a "opposite" personal and experiential safety. Now, beyond the will for beauty, strength and creativity of the author, even transcending the aforementioned historical dynamics, just try to imagine what experience and trauma struck the little Lily. This kind of dramatic events are endlessly multiplied in children’ perception: in just one stroke, for example, even beyond the tragic risks of mere survival, all the normal fears of childhood materialize in real life, having as unique "stellar" shields their fathers and mothers, alternatively involved in dynamics not only external but also unsustainable internal, in constant insecurity and infected by viruses and psychic malware always lurking. The existential and historical development of the little future writer is almost miraculous, a work of art that is able to sublimate even its indelible psychic scars. (The Nothing and the absurd mystery of Life remains eternal, as the author herself confesses ..).
The book itself is a small - great work of art, rare and atypical for many modulations: the personal story itself is perfectly intertwined with the parallel story of many other protagonists of the diaspora post Khomeini: therefore it assumes an enhanced value of collective memory, given the abrupt explosion of the phenomenon of migration and in particular of war refugees.
Some considerations beyond the easy-minded rhetoric that still pervade and pollute Europe based on similar problems: since 1979 Europeans have learned very little in order to distinguish between war refugees and other questionable types of migrants.
The art of life of Lily Amis, and this book specifically, would be fundamental to educate people - a small great diary of Anne Frank of our time, beyond all the small talks around us: it also gives an utopian but possible message. The author's life art, in the luminous and creative end, is a prospective horizon against all the liquid and still perilous chaos for current migrants.