works in progress

medieval scribeIt was not my idea to write three novels simultaneously but halfway through the first novel I began a second, and shortly afterwards I began a third. What could I do? Ideas appeared demanding development and I couldn’t resist. The disadvantages of this might seem obvious, but there are advantages too: putting one of them aside when it is giving too much grief, for example, and applying what is learnt from one to the development of another. Writing a ‘walking’ story, L’incontro, during a residency in Italy inspired yet another novel that is now complete.

There are now five novels in the top drawer, one barely halfway through a first draft, one two-thirds written, the other three complete and in robust form after multiple drafts. Now I am trying to catch the eye of a publisher. And the ideas keep coming. 

There are short stories developing too — a suite of six Italian racconti under the title of La biennale alla fine del tempo (The biennale at the end of time), each one set in a different Venice, each one centred around the presence of strangers: fugitives hide in a deserted Biennale pavilion; a passenger falls ill on a cruise ship; a writer-in-residence seeks an idea for a ‘Venetian’ novel; a statue of Richard Wagner is humiliated; the myth of an ancient wooden madonna is pursued across the lagoon; a priest comes home to die after decades abroad. The stories reflect my own status as a foreigner in Venice, and my appreciation of the city as a place of multiple meanings and histories. The first of these stories, Un pugno sul naso, is on the site under Appunti dai Campi.


Words and Things

Finishing the Renaissance

Writing Between the Lines

Tumult and Conspiracy

Dangerous Things

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