Excerpt from the first Chapter, ‘How to set up an Artist Residency in Calabria’

“The village was surrounded by rising and descending serpentine roads, olive groves and the woods of Aspromonte, the most southern mountain of the Apennines. Huge apartment blocks with space for shops on street level and unfinished top floors with bare concrete pillars supporting the roof lined the street. Tiny alleys went up to the main square in front of a church, that maybe once had known times of great splendour. Everything would have looked different, had we arrived during the funeral of a boss. But we didn’t. We took a beer at a bar, sat for an hour and observed the men playing cards, while some of them were observing us. It was a peaceful Saturday afternoon. Nothing happened. The voices of the arguing card-players and the onlookers mingled with the radio playing inside the bar. It was still warm enough to sit outside, under the pergola, that during summer must have showered its fragrance on the card-players. (There was no reason to think that one day would pass by without these men sitting here and playing cards.) They knew that we knew and we knew that they knew. They also knew that we would never really know what they knew. This was the kind of traffic that went from our eyes to theirs and back again. It was my first confrontation with a blockade by silence. ”
You can order the epub here

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