Saturday, 28 June 2014
Presenting La Vergine e il Grifo
On Saturday, July 5th my novel, The Virgin and the Griffin, is being presented in Italian in the city where it all started….Perugia.
Indeed, the city of Perugia, as it was in 1504 and as it is today, is a key figure in the story, one of the reasons the publisher Francesco Tozzuolo asked to translate and publish my novel in Italian as La Vergine e il Grifo.
Saturday's event will be a bit more complicated than the style of book readings I am used to, but I am looking forward to it (despite my intense nervousness at delivering a presentation in Italian, yikes!) So many people who have been important to the novel will be there and for that reason alone, I am very excited.
My dear friend Letizia Mattiacci, who was the inspiration for a key character in the novel, has promised to be there with her wonderful husband Ruurd and their beautiful daughter Tea. I am hoping that Mary Thomas Tacconi, another dear friend who first taught me to think about the unique heritage and great beauty of artisanal Umbrian textiles and ceramics, will be able to make it.
Marta Cucchia, who is continuing her family's tradition of hand-weaving at the Laboratorio Giuditta Brozzetti, and her mother Clara Baldelli Bombelli, a textiles historian who instructed me in the art, will also be there. When writing my novel, Marta taught me a few things about weaving while Clara gave me a wonderful overview of Umbrian textiles.
As the program at the top shows, the event begins, appropriately enough, at the Brozzetti laboratorio with a presentation on the history of Umbrian textiles.
A historian will then lead a one-hour walk through some the medieval city streets, touching on landmarks included in my novel, and we will end up at the chiostro of the great Cathedral of San Lorenzo which dominates the heart of Perugia's historic centre. An actor will read selections from the novel and I will talk (very briefly, believe me) about what inspired the novel.
As well, perhaps I'll drop a few hints about the novel I am working on now…..