In Italy

After a journey that took me on planes (three), trains (two), and automobiles (two), I am now in Ferrara, Italy, to attend the Festival Internazionale in Ferrara. I am staying in a converted monastery and my room is very bare, with just a bed, a desk, and a dresser. There is no internet access, and the phone doesn’t let me make outgoing calls. A large crucifix hangs on the wall above my bed. The red-tiled hallways, the old furniture, the multiple Christs on the cross everywhere remind me of the grade school I attended, which was also in a converted Catholic institution in Rabat. There are relatively few cars on the cobbled streets of the village, because most people ride bicycles. So it’s very quiet and peaceful, and I find myself thinking what a great place this would be to write a book. But I am here to talk about one: The Italian edition of my book just came out, and my publicist is starting things off with a reading here. More soon, I hope.