In 1920, anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were accused of a robbery and double murder at a factory in Massachusetts.
The case became one of the most notorious miscarriages of justice of the twentieth century. The Anarchist’s Wife is a poignant historical fiction novella which reimagines this American tragedy from the perspective of Rosa Sacco.
Your father was handcuffed to Bart, who was handcuffed to a policeman. If your father pinched your cheeks or stroked your hair, Bart’s left hand would be dragged along as well. Sometimes, you would shift your attention along the bench and get fixated on Bart’s walrus moustache, wanting to tug at it.
Your laughter would hoot and echo around the courtroom before ending in a chuckle. That last bit would drag on longer than expected, like a drunk with hiccups. You were irresistible. Even Judge Thayer was thawed a little. Once during recess, he said that your father had permission to leave the cage and play with you. You sat on the floor in your white cotton dress, plump legs sticking out, leaning forward, staring delightedly at your papa. Every half-remembered trick was wheeled out: pulling faces, ear-waggling, shadow hands and peekaboo. You were a good audience. The best. While you were laughing, we gazed at you. Your happiness was such a performance.
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