Document Type

Book Chapter


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


General literature studies

Publication Details

Silvia Ross and Claire Honess (Eds.). Identity and Conflict in Tuscany. Florence: Firenze University Press, 2016.


In Her Place: Subverting the Woman/Terrorist Binary in Marco De Franchi's La Carne e il Sangue.

Militant women tend to be sensationalized or denigrated by the media, frequently portrayed as being 'doubly deviant'; first, for committing a crime against the state, and, second, for having transgressed the boundaries of tolerable female behavior. Marco De Franchi, chooses a refreshing approach in his crime novel, La carne e il sangue (2008), focusing on commonality, rather than exceptionality, in his depiction of the terrorist, Lucia. Serena, a police investigator in charge of this case, contemplates how she would behave if she were in Lucia's shoes. Lucia, wife to Stefano and mother to Valerio, works as a nurse in Florence and seems to lead a 'normal' middle-class life. However, unbeknownst to both her husband and son, she is also an active member of a left-wing militant organization, slipping into the role of “Federica”, her alter ego, when called to action. While struggling to keep her two identities separate, a blurring of Lucia's two roles takes place.

In this essay, I analyze the character of Lucia by examining her role as a liminal figure who navigates the space between 'woman' and 'terrorist'. Drawing on studies of women's participation in global violence, I enquire whether the author, in seeking out overlap, rather than difference, manages to destabilize the reductive woman/terrorist dualism. Using spatial theory, I also consider the writer's treatment of place as a means of delineating his protagonist's psychological state.