Postponed: Emanu-El’s fall book event to focus on ‘Eternal,’ set in Fascist Italy


PROVIDENCE – The historical fiction novel “Eternal,” by best-selling author Lisa Scottoline, will be the subject of the Fall Book Discussion presented by the Rosen Library Committee of Temple Emanu-El.  The event, on Dec. 3, will feature an introductory lecture by Brown University Prof. Suzanne Stewart-Steinberg about the sociopolitical environment in Fascist Italy before and during World War II.

“Eternal” is set in Rome amid the devastating horrors inflicted on Rome’s Jewish community during that period. The historical setting was inspired by true events, and the fictional characters, three Roman teenagers and their families, are conduits for the progression of the story from 1937 through Mussolini’s alignment with Hitler, the brutal antisemitism inflicted by the Nazis and their Fascist partners on the Roman Jews, the shocking betrayal of the Jewish Ghetto in Rome and Mussolini’s eventual defeat.

Stewart-Steinberg is the John P. Birkelund Distinguished Professor of European Studies, and a professor and chair of Italian Studies, at Brown. In particular, she works on the literature, culture and politics of 19th- and 20th-century Italy and Germany. She is the author of several books, including, “Sublime Surrender: Male Masochism at the Fin-de-Siecle,” (1998), “The Pinocchio Effect: On Making Italians (1860-1930)” (2007)  and “Impious Fidelity: Anna Freud, Psychoanalysis, Politics” (2012).

The event, on Sunday, Dec. 3, 10:30 a.m. to noon, will be held in person at Temple Emanu-El, 99 Taft Ave., Providence, and on Zoom, and is open to the community.  Registration is required and admission is $10. To register and for the Zoom link, go to

For more information, email Donna Marks, co-chair of the Rosen Library Committee at Temple Emanu-El, at

ARLENE S. SIMON is a member of the Rosen Library Committee at Temple Emanu-El, in Providence.

Temple Emanu-El, book talk