South Africa/UK | 2008
Barbara Trapido was born in Cape Town and has lived in England since 1964. She is the author of six novels –
Brother of the More Famous Jack (winner of a Whitbread Prize),
Temples of Delight (shortlisted for the Sunday Express Book of the Year Award),
The Travelling Hornplayer (shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award) and
Frankie and Stankie (shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award). She lives in Oxford.
Having put the draft of my seventh novel on hold for three years while I took care of a sick husband, I found myself suddenly widowed and somehow, month after month, unable to open the desk drawer containing the manuscript. Then, after much urging from my very supportive editor, I found myself sitting cross-legged on a large silver bed in a green and white room at Santa Maddalena, balancing an A4 pad on my knee and drafting my two last chapters at high speed. I punctuated my labours with pleasant al fresco lunches, woodland walks, enjoyable conversations, hours of reading whatever I plucked from Beatrice’s bookshelves and the odd delicious trip to Florence and Arezzo.
I came back, really pleased with my productivity, and feeling I’d been most artfully nurtured in a magical place.