In August 2020 I gathered the courage to publish a little collection of tales I wrote over the years. As I’m Italian, I originally wrote them in my mother tongue; after that, I thought I’d better try to translate them in English, which I did all by myself. You may think the collection is little (it’s just 30ish pages) but I can assure you that I put all my heart working on it. Not only these tales are the result of a hard work (writing and translating cannot be defined as “easy”), but they are also a part of me; I was very nervous when I told my family and friends that my book was available, and I still am. The three tales I wrote focus on three different women, who deal with completely different situations. The only element that links them is the window, from which derives the title of the collection, At the window (Alla finestra, in the Italian version).
In this article, I will explain the stories and the meaning they have for me.
· Like a sparrow ·
This is the first tale I have ever written and the first story you can find when you open the book.
The window appears right away: the narrator watches her children playing with their friends through it. It is springtime: this period of the year makes her memory go back to a long time before, when she was in primary school. She thinks about Sofia, one of her classmates. Quiet and little, Sofia looks isolated from the rest of the others and seems embarrassed each time someone talks to her. No one ever notices her. The narrator, Elena, decides she will change the situation: she and Sofia will become friends and they will play and have fun together. Things don’t quite work like that: they do become friends, but the other classmates finally notice Sofia and start showing interest in her in the worst possible way, bullying her and never leaving her alone. The little girl is resigned: she believes she is bound to suffer forever. She feels too much. Elena realises this is true: Sofia shows a sensitivity and an empathy with all the living creatures like no one else she has met before. For this reason, she wants to step into action: she will tell the teachers everything Sofia has been put through and help her.
As I don’t want to anticipate anything, I won’t tell you what happens next; what I can say is that, for sure, the window plays a major role in Sofia and Elena’s story. The reader is the one who has to find out why.
· The wedding day ·
The main character of this tale, Rebecca, is excited: the story is set on the day of her marriage to Dario, whom she loves deeply. Everything has been scrupulously organised in order to make her groom-to-be happy; as a matter of fact, she is afraid he won’t enjoy himself, as he isn’t Christian. He is only getting married for her. She doesn’t believe she deserves it; but Dario proves to be a loving companion, who only wants to spend the rest of his life with Rebecca. The day passes and it all goes as it is supposed to go: their friends and family are there to celebrate their love with them.
Despite this, not everything is what it seems: again, just like in the first story, the window appears and it brings something with it. Something that will change the characters’ lives forever.
· At the window ·
This is the tale that closes the collection and gives it its title.
Sarah loves looking outside the window: she has a lively imagination and she invents lives for all the people she sees. You may think this is just something that she likes doing: but staying at her window actually represents her way of living. As she watches the world outside her house, she notices something peculiar and has an epiphany; will she be capable of understanding the importance of it and adjust her life according to this revelation?
As you can see, this collection includes three tales that are quite different from each other. Nonetheless, they are all linked by this element, the window, that brings various changes in all the stories. When I first wrote them, I distributed them to a little circle of friends; what is interesting is that all of them had different opinions on what the windows in the tales represent. Sometimes they even gave interpretations I hadn’t thought about! They told me that, as the author, I was entitled to have the last word, but the truth is I don’t want it. I actually love when a book makes people talk about the story and when they have different interpretations for them. That’s what literature does: it gets inside you and you elaborate it through your experience. Books start conversations. The fact that my work started one means that, apparently, I succeeded in delivering a message, an emotion, an idea.
This collection will always have a special place in my heart, not only because it was the first one I’ve published (and the only one, so far), but also because of its cover: the drawing of a window you can see above was prepared by my father. I will always remember discussing with him about it, sharing the ideas we had.
I hope I was capable of raising some interest in my book. If you feel like reading it, here’s the link where you can buy it (you can choose between the eBook and the paperback version of it):
If you want to learn some Italian and you’d like to practise it a little bit, why not trying with the Italian version of my stories? Here’s the link where you can find them:
Let me know if you like At the window with a comment here; if you enjoy reading it, please spread the word with your friends and share it on social networks!