My new novel, ADDIO POSITANO, has just come into print. I am very excited about it, and hope that it will find many interested readers. Like Miranda, my protagonist, I arrived in Positano during the 50s, when it was still a fishing town, with only a few tourists. The drama of the war continued to be painfully evoked in the hearts of my major characters, who sought refuge in this peaceful Eden, thus creating a strong contrast with the native positanesi. While writing the book, I noticed how the place was slowly growing into a character of its own.
I can't distinguish real people from the ones I invented. At times, the ones I made up seemed more alive to me than the ones I had met in the flesh. It happens to me more often than not that what I imagine turns out to be truer than reality. On a recent return to Positano I surprised myself by calling some of the natives by their fictitious names, instead of their real ones. A few of those who had died in my story were still much alive, while, to my shock, the opposite happened to one or two of the townspeople I had cherished.
Invention or autobiography: as in a memoir, remembrance and imagination are constantly at odds with one another, as we confuse dreams with reality. What, then, is reality, and what is true or untrue? In the end, writing may surprise us with unexpected insights, which may be a mixture of both. In the same way, we "invent" what emerges from our unconscious, and transform the facts of "real" events. In a final, indirect way, the invented story may be more autobiographical, and bring out a deeper truth than a work of nonfiction.
In addition to ADDIO POSITANO, two of my novels and a memoir of my early childhood are just about to get back into print with the help of the Authors Guild, while I am in the process of writing a new work of fiction. When it rains, it pours... but I am grateful that my books are almost ready to experience a second birth.