How Translating One Poem Led To A Profitable Spin-off

How Translating One Poem Led To A Profitable Spin-off

Until I stumbled into this little side gig of translating Italian poetry, my idea of poetry didn’t go much further than, “Roses are red…” etc., etc. Occasionally, I read and reread and tried to understand some of the poetry published in The New Yorker, but first of all, it didn’t rhyme, so that threw me off. Then, on many occasions, even after a third or fourth read, I was still asking: “Say what?” I must have snoozed through the poetry segment in English class because all this free flowing thought was news to me. And now, I was being asked to translate it.

Fortunately, my first stab at translating Italian poetry was the poem “Attimo” (“Moment”) by Luciano Somma, Italy’s preeminent poet and two-time winner of the Silver Medal of the President of the Republic. After viewing my writing in various Italian literary journals, Luciano sought me out to translate the poem “Attimo.” His imagery of “the sun yawning between clouds and a dove dying in the snow” drew me into the truth that each “moment” in life is “merely a grain of history, a drawing in the wind.” I was hooked, and the seed was planted. That one free translation led to six (paid) dual-language poetry books, in collaboration with Luciano and two other poets.

So how do you go about finding foreign poets who want their work translated into English? Do some research. Use your “search-engine” and type in: poetry/French, poetry/German, poetry/Spanish, etc. Start reading various poets, find out if they are published, self-published is actually better than traditionally published, as traditional publishers usually have their own cache of translators.

Contact the poets: Always write in their native tongue, so they can see that you are truly fluent in their language and not just offering up your version of Google Translate.

Compliment their work: Don’t merely say, “I like your poetry,” pick out a phrase or a line that grabs you and comment on that.

Ask if they’re interested in having their poetry translated for publication on their website or eBook or print book.

Offer a free translation for their review.

List your credentials: Let them see that you are a serious writer with more than a pedestrian knowledge of grammar.

What to know: Translating poetry presents challenges not found when translating basic prose. You arm yourself with the same essential tools: dictionary, verb book, and thesaurus, however, for poetry translations, you also need to add creativity. Your aim is to maintain a line-for-line translation while sustaining the author’s “voice.” Given the differences in sentence structure between languages, this can be tricky, and occasionally no matter how you hard you try, a line-for-line is impossible. Other problems occur when you overuse the thesaurus to a point where the word takes on a new meaning. This happens when you think your word fits the “idea” better than that of the poet. A good translator needs to put ego aside and keep the poet in mind at all times. If you think you can do better, write your own poetry. Don’t rewrite the work of someone who has trusted you and paid you to do a worthy translation.

Many people assume that translating is little more than looking up each word and writing down its English equivalent. If you believe that’s the case, you need only go to Babel Fish, Google Translate, or one of the other on-line translation sites, paste a small amount of text in another language and then “hit” translate. More often than not, the translation, although in English, is almost as difficult to understand as its foreign counterpart.

There are times when a poem is so encumbered in idiomatic nuance and ambiguous metaphors it can take as long, or possibly longer, to translate than it took the poet to write it. I’ve experienced this on a few occasions, where even after extensive conversations with the poet, I’m still scratching my head and wondering how he got “this” idea out of “that.”

Even though many poets on the Internet are amateur writers, believe me, there is some real talent out there. An unknown today could end up to be the next Pablo Neruda. And if you get in on the ground floor, Pablo#2 might very well take you and your translations along for the ride.

Here’s some fun news: The Italian poetry anthology “Da Ischia L’Arte,” written by Bruno Mancini and Roberta Panizza, in which several of my translations appeared, was featured at EXPO Milano 2015, where over 20 million visitors attended.
http://www.emmegiischia.com/wordpress/expo-milano/

Da Ischia L'Arte

Da Ischia L’Arte

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“A tremendously exciting second half to an already terrific story…”

“A tremendously exciting second half to an already terrific story…”

When you receive a 5-Star review from Bobby Underwood, noted author and respected reviewer of classic films whose comments have been quoted in the Saturday Evening Post, you are compelled to shout it from the rooftops. I am humbled and grateful for the time he spent to write such a lovely review.

“This wonderful book needs to be on everyone’s TBR list sooner, rather than later. Not only is it a beautiful evocation of a time in history, but an exciting narrative that belies expectations for this genre. I had to think long and hard about how to adequately describe what a wonderful read Bridge of Sighs and Dreams is, and all I can say is this:

If David Dodge, Martha Albrand, and Sidney Sheldon had ever gotten together to write a novel in this genre, it might read something like this. It has the swiftly moving, natural narrative style of Dodge, and the page-turning drama of Sidney Sheldon at his zenith. More importantly, it has that Martha Albrand template of telling a huge story on a smaller canvas, giving it intimacy and vibrancy. It’s rare when a book that falls into the historical fiction category is this utterly entertaining, and alive with so much movement. It grabs the reader right from the harrowing opening moments in Southern Italy, 1938, and an act of brutality by Mussolini’s Blackshirts which will shape Angelina’s life.

“There are times when those of us who are the least political become the most involved. War changes everything.” — Signor Biasi

The narrative which ensues is deceptively easy reading, like David Dodge’s storytelling. Like a painting by one of the old Dutch Masters, however, perhaps Vermeer, layers upon layers are meticulously added by the author until a rich and evocative portrait of Italy occupied by the Germans in WWII emerges. At around the twenty-percent mark, the reader is finding the novel to be a quick and lively read. By the halfway point, the events transpiring have become so incredibly exciting, the reader is unable to turn away. The rich and colorful picture emerging from all the applied layers is so involving we have to keep staring — or rather turning pages — until we have the entire picture. That isn’t hyperbole, it’s an honest evaluation of just how good I think this is. If you’re the type of reader intrigued by the book description, the synopsis, but are afraid you’ll be disappointed, don’t be. This isn’t boring, or dry, nor is it bloated or padded. It is a great story, excitingly and tenderly told.

There are two very different women at the heart of this engaging novel. One you will love, one you will loathe. Stories of war and occupation are best told from the viewpoint of the people, and that is what the author has done. Angelina, Lidia, their husbands, Pietro and Aldo, their children and friends. The Italian Resistance in German occupied Rome. The betrayers and the betrayed. Hope and despair, and the resiliency of the human spirit shining through. Not all Germans are shown to be bad. Many, like Karl, hang fiercely to their humanity in the face of war. Nor were all Italians good. Some collaborated with German forces out of greed, like Lidia, one of the most shallow and deceitful human beings you’re likely to ever run across between the covers of a book.

“I can’t put into words the pain in my heart knowing that this and other atrocities I have witnessed have been carried out by citizens of my homeland.” — Karl

As Angelina is swept up in war, and the machinations of the sister-in-law from Hades, we are swept up in it along with her, seeing the brutality and retaliations by the Germans. We also see the absurdity of war, as in the pounding of Italy by the Americans. It was necessary to liberate the country, yet caused great damage and fear. If anything, this book spotlights the terrible price the citizens of all countries pay for so dearly, when countries go to war — even when it is absolutely necessary. Were I to list all the events and years this novel covers, it would sound sweeping. Yet Bridge of Sighs and Dreams is told so wonderfully, with such an intimacy, there are times when we feel like we’re reading an exciting Sidney Sheldon novel — if he’d ever gotten all serious on us. Just terrific stuff here, with lives we care about in doubt, and some intriguing twists the deeper we get into the war.

A tremendously exciting second half to an already terrific story, in conjunction with an ending that satisfies in every way possible, make this the best novel I’ve read in quite awhile. If there is any caveat, it might be the obliviousness to Lidia’s manipulations by everyone around her, until it’s too late for some. It does make the first portion feel a bit more soapy than it should, but with each layer the author adds to the small canvas on which she’s chosen to tell this sweeping story, it gets better and better. At one point, you just want to crawl into the pages and throttle Lidia yourself. And likewise, you’re on the edge of your seat for Angelina, anxious for everything to turn out alright, even in the darkest moments.

“He was a gentle boy whose sense of decency became too much for him to bear in this hellish war. I pray his compassionate soul is finally at peace.” — Karl

If you’re like me, and lament that so much historical fiction is dry and boring, then read this. Seriously, this is fabulous stuff, and deserves to be moved up on your TBR list if you already have it on there. And if you don’t, then it needs to be there, and soon. My highest recommendation.

I knew it had to be tricky business keeping the fast narrative flow to Bridge of Sighs and Dreams, considering the period, which is why it was so impressive. It just swept along like a river, never slowing, yet allowing the reader to see peripherally the war, the events going on, from a smaller perspective, the lives of Angelina and her daughter. Hawthorne said that easy reading was *&%#* hard writing, so whenever I read something that has that kind of movement and pacing, while still giving the reader everything they want and need emotionally, to be involved in the story, I know all the sweat and hours that went into that for the writer. Terrific stuff that deserves to be read by a wider audience.”

BRIDGE OF SIGHS AND DREAMS is available for purchase in paperback and eBook at:

AMAZON:  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015JRFQE8

BARNES & NOBLE:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bridge-of-sighs…/1122645088…

BOOKLOCKER:

http://booklocker.com/books/8228.html

ITUNES:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams/id1041486835?mt=11

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

:

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams

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HAWAIIAN SIGN POSTS TO PARADISE

HAWAIIAN SIGN POSTS TO PARADISE

I’m not a fan of wishy-washy, muted colors, and so I played with the vivid Rainbow Coalition colors that speak to me of peace and unity while hanging out in Paradise, sipping a smoothie, and waiting for the waves. The original 11″x14″ acrylic on wrapped canvas is available for purchase on my art website: http://www.pamelaallegretto-franz.com

HAWAIIAN SIGN POSTS TO PARADISE

HAWAIIAN SIGN POSTS TO PARADISE

Quality Giclee prints from greeting card size to poster size, tote bags and pillows can be purchased at: https://fineartamerica.com/featured/hawaiian-sign-posts-to-paradise-pamela-allegretto.html

 

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“Bellissimo libro!”

 

My heartfelt thanks to Cristina, author of the popular blog Un Po di Pepe https://unpodipepe.ca, for writing this lovely 5-star review for Bridge of Sighs and Dreams on both Amazon Canada and Goodreads.

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

 

“Bellissimo libro!” I really enjoyed this book. It has all of the elements of a great read….love, family, bravery, greed, jealousy, betrayal, intrigue. The characters are well-developed, and the book is very descriptive without being overly wordy. I love that the protagonist and some of the other characters are artists. The descriptions of the art and art-making are beautiful, even in the backdrop of war, although the atrocities of war and hunger are not down played in any way. The inclusion of Italian words is both appropriate and educational…..because, of course, learning Italian is always a good thing! Ciao, Cristina

BRIDGE OF SIGHS AND DREAMS is available for purchase in paperback and eBook at:

AMAZON:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015JRFQE8

 BARNES & NOBLE:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bridge-of-sighs…/1122645088…

BOOKLOCKER:

http://booklocker.com/books/8228.html

ITUNES:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams/id1041486835?mt=11

KOBO:

https://store.kobobooks.com/…/eb…/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams

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THE BIRTH OF A NOVEL

The Birth of a Novel

The tutelage of my Italian family launched my love for the Italian language the moment the first trilled “R” danced on my tongue and tickled my teeth. Animated conversations around the supper table often veered from current events to life in Italy during World War 2 and the impact the War had on our family. These conversations piqued my curiosity and planted a seed that nagged me to learn more.

I was 17-years-old when I took my first trip back to Italy with my parents. The moment the airplane touched ground, I had this overwhelming feeling of “home.” Meeting my Italian aunts and uncles in their Southern Italian village of Faicchio and listening to their personal accounts of the War sprouted that seed and it began to grow. The more I learned, the more I wanted to know.

After high school graduation, I moved to Florence, Italy and attended L’Università Per Gli Stranieri, which heightened my passion for Italian history, especially those War years. My Florentine friends all had personal family stories relating to the Nazi-occupation and the brave Italians in the Resistance Movement. These first-hand accounts were a direct contradiction to the denigrating jokes I heard while growing up about Italian cowardice. The seedling strengthened its stem. I determined that someone should write a book about the Resistance. Well, my research revealed that there were already dozens of books on the subject. However, the more I read, the stronger my conviction to write my own novel based on my family’s experience. I also felt compelled to write a war novel in which the women don’t play the role of wallpaper or objects of amusement to soldiers and politicians. I wanted my women to take center stage in a behind-the-lines battle between good and evil.

As is often the case, life got in my way; and I shelved my anticipated novel for a few decades. Then one year, on what had become my annual visit to Italy, a conversation with my aunt thawed my dormant plant and ignited my shelved idea for a war novel. She told me about the suffering under Mussolini’s Fascist Regime, and how life in Faicchio became a daily challenge to survive: “Human supplies dried-up. Whatever remained was rationed, including bread and flour. There was no salt or soap. New clothing didn’t exist nor did thread to mend the old clothes. Even if one was to recycle used thread, it was futile since there weren’t any needles. The steel was required for the army. There were a few bicycles, but the seats were made with straw, and the tires were crafted from a synthetic material. Rubber was for the army. The tires didn’t last long, and because they were impossible to replace, the bicycle was saved for emergencies. For those who were sick, it was a real problem. The few bottles left on the pharmacy shelves were empty. There were no antibiotics, no Band-Aids, not even aspirin.” She related how after Mussolini was overthrown, the Nazis commandeered her home and banished her, 8-months-pregnant with her third child, and her two small children from their home with only the clothes on their backs.

By now, my plant was sprouting leaves left and right, and I was determined to find out more. I visited one cousin who supplied me with a detailed accounting of the Nazi occupation of the Village of Faicchio written by one of his professors, who had been a teenager during that time. It took me the remainder of my visit to translate this eye-opening account. Strangely enough, a compassionate German soldier, whom I had initially incorporated into my fiction, was real, and the professor had fleshed out his back-story. After I left my family’s farm and traveled toward Rome, I spent some time in the charming hill-top village of Anagni, where on a narrow side-street I stumbled across Tarsie Turri, the tarsia lignea (inlaid wood) workshop of Carlo Turri. Since one of the proposed characters in my novel practiced this intricate art form, I found this a serendipitous occasion. Not only was I able to glean information about tarsia lignea, but the data came from the best possible source. It seems Carlo Turri’s work has been collected by dignitaries world-wide, including Pope Paul and the President of the Republic. Carla Turri, Carlo’s daughter who carries on the tradition, gave me a detailed tour and demonstration of this Renaissance art form. Unfortunately, due to story “flow,” I was not able to include in my novel as much information about this art form as I would have liked. However, that personal experience is one I hold dear, and I consider the knowledge I gained to be priceless.

My next stop was Rome, where again fate stepped in. I came upon a vintage market, not far from Piazza di Spagna. There, I encountered a merchant who dealt in World War 2 paraphernalia. I had wanted to incorporate information on the treatment of Italian Jews under the Nazi occupation, and here I found real-time publications regarding the events that took place in Rome during that time-period. The discovery of personal letters and journals augmented my study. The consistent manifestation of hope, scribbled across those abandoned pieces of paper on which the ink now weeps, afforded a valuable glimpse into the Italian sentiment during this horrific period. I deemed all this information to not be coincidence, but rather a sign that I was meant to continue with my novel.

For once, I was eager to leave Italy, but only because it was time to write my novel. I concluded: if not now, when? My next step was to flesh-out my characters. I sought an eclectic collection of complex individuals, each with his or her own values, lack of values, dreams, and goals. I wanted Bridge of Sighs and Dreams to be a story of betrayal, dignity, and purpose that highlighted the brutality toward Italian citizens, under both Mussolini’s Fascist regime and the Nazi occupation, and that illustrated the tenacity of the human spirit. However, I thought it was also necessary to inject some light humor, not merely for the reader’s benefit, but to show that a sense of humor can serve as a valuable shield during dire times.

I will say, to weave my fiction around the time-line of events that I wanted to highlight was tricky, but I didn’t want to alter facts to fit my fiction; instead, I utilized truth to enhance my characters and their story. And so, after decades of research, translations, false starts, writing, editing, shelving, writing, editing, shelving, Bridge of Sighs and Dreams finally bloomed into a novel of which I am proud.

My one regret is that sadly, my beloved parents and some of my aunts and uncles who played such a pivotal role in this novel have all passed away before its publication. However, I do take solace in fate. Considering the serendipitous chain of events involved in the birth of the novel, it happened when it was meant to happen. Ecco la vita.

A thousand thanks to Jennifer S. Alderson  for featuring Birth of a Novel on her Travel Writers website. I am honored to be included alongside such gifted authors.I hope you enjoy the article and to also take the time to visit the Travel Writers website that features articles written by other authors who share the fascination and joy of international culture. http://jennifersalderson.com/2017/03/27/the-birth-of-a-novel-by-pamela-allegretto

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams is available for purchase in paperback and eBook at:

AMAZON:

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015JRFQE8

BARNES & NOBLE:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams-pamela-allegretto/1122645088?ean=9781634906548

BOOKLOCKER:

http://booklocker.com/books/8228.html

ITUNES:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams/id1041486835?mt=11

KOBO:

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams

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“It Was Amazing” 5 Star Review

“It Was Amazing” 5 Star Review

 Those words and this review just sent me over the moon. I am deeply grateful to author Mary Feliciani for taking the time to write such a lovely 5-star review.

 “I thoroughly enjoyed every page of Bridge of Sighs and Dreams. The end of each scene left me wanting more. The storyline has many layers: the atrocities of World War 2; human nature at its best and worst; the love between a mother and daughter; the love between husband and wife; loyalty among friends, manipulation and betrayal; and the power of hope. It has all the elements of a book that can captivate and engage.
I was enamoured with some of the characters: Angelina the compassionate artist and her daughter Gina, who represents the innocence of a child; noble men like Pietro, Aldo and Karl who do what is right even when everything around them is wrong; Rosalina who became the grandmother figure, and who provides the much needed comic relief.

“The aforementioned benevolent characters are balanced off with the sociopathic behaviour of the SS, Fascist extremists, and Lidia, Angelina’s sister-in-law.

“The author demonstrates that the human necessity to bond is still present during wartime, and that there still is life after war. The author, being an artist herself, lovingly crafted a new family unit for Angelina using the broken pieces of other families.” Mary Feliciani

BRIDGE OF SIGHS AND DREAMS is available for purchase in paperback and eBook at:

AMAZON:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015JRFQE8

 

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

BARNES & NOBLE:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bridge-of-sighs…/1122645088…

BOOKLOCKER:

http://booklocker.com/books/8228.html

ITUNES:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams/id1041486835?mt=11

KOBO:

https://store.kobobooks.com/…/eb…/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams

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It Was Amazing!

5 Stars on Amazon/Canada – Wonderful things happen when there are no “walls” between countries to get in the way! Thank you, author, Janice J. Richardson, for writing such a lovely review.

It was amazing!

“What a beautiful story. It is exquisitely and descriptively written, a tale of love and hate, betrayal and trust set in Italy during WWII. This book should be made into a movie. An absolute must-read for literary, historical fiction fans and those who have yet to pick up and read that genre. This story will leave you breathless from the first page to the last.”

BRIDGE OF SIGHS AND DREAMS is available for purchase in paperback and eBook at: AMAZON:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015JRFQE8

BARNES & NOBLE:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bridge-of-sighs…/1122645088…

BOOKLOCKER:

http://booklocker.com/books/8228.html

ITUNES:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams/id1041486835?mt=11

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

KOBO:

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams

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A MUST READ

A MUST READ

Thank you to Emmy Award winning film editor and author, Rick Tuber, for this lovely 5-star review.

“Nazi’s, Fascists, greed, and revenge, “Bridge of Sighs and Dreams” has it all. A suspenseful story of survival that will keep the reader on the edge of their seat. I really enjoyed this book that was so unpredictable. Pamela Allegretto paints a picture of one family’s love and hope during occupied Italy of WW 2. A must read. ”

Bridge of sighs and Dreams is a story of betrayal, dignity, and purpose that highlights the brutality toward Italian citizens, under both Mussolini’s Fascist regime and the Nazi occupation, and illustrates the tenacity of the human spirit.

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams is available for purchase in paperback and eBook at:

AMAZON:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015JRFQE8

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

BARNES & NOBLE:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams-pamela-allegretto/1122645088?ean=9781634906548

BOOKLOCKER:

http://booklocker.com/books/8228.html

ITUNES:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams/id1041486835?mt=11

KOBO:

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams

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SURF’S UP

SURF’S UP –

Surf's Up

Surf’s Up

For me, big, bold colors reflect the joys of a tropical island. I wanted to keep this painting as uncomplicated as island life. It’s all about celebrating color and simplicity that speak to me while hanging out in Paradise, sipping a smoothie, and waiting for the waves. The original 8”x10” acrylic on wrapped canvas is available for purchase. Contact me here for information. Or, visit my art website: http://www.pamelaallegretto-franz.com

Quality Giclee prints from greeting card size to poster size are available at:

https://fineartamerica.com/featured/surfs-up-pamela-allegretto.html

 

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St. Francis of Assisi

St. Francis of Assisi

You don’t have to be a Christian or even religious to appreciate the life of St. Francis of Assisi. He cherished all of nature and creatures large and small. I mean, how can you not love someone who talked to animals and birds?

The original acrylic on canvas painting has been sold. However, Giclee prints and greeting cards are available for purchase at: https://fineartamerica.com/featured/st-francis-of-assisi-pamela-allegretto.html

San Francesco d’Assisi

St Francis of Assisi

St Francis of Assisi

Non si dev’essere religioso apprezzare San Francesco d’Assisi. Lui ha amato tutta la natura e le creature grandi e piccole. Voglio dire, come non si puo` amare qualcuno che ha parlato con gli animali ed i uccelli?

Il quadro originale e` stato venduta, però, si può comprare delle stamp di giclee a questo sito: https://fineartamerica.com/featured/st-francis-of-assisi-pamela-allegretto.html

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Best novel I’ve read in a long time!

Best novel I’ve read in a long time!

 What a great way to end the month of April: with this 5-star review. Thank you, Marty, for taking the time to write such a lovely review. I am so pleased that you enjoyed the read, and that it touched your sensibilities.

Best novel I’ve read in a long time!
By Marty on April 27, 2017
Format: Paperback
It has been some time since I’ve read a book that moved me in all the ways great writing should, but Pamela Allegretto nailed it. Complex in her method of storytelling, blending historical facts and events with her well-developed characters, even from page one I was hooked. If you love Italy and history, you will love this novel. All of your senses get involved: The sights, sounds, flavors, and tactile narrative are beautiful and compelling, but it is the emotional connection with the characters that couldn’t be denied. As a mature man, I’ll only admit to having teared up half a dozen times; that is the level of immersion you’ll discover. No spoilers here, but absolutely recommend. The author was also very thoughtful in the production of the novel: a bit larger font and cream-colored pages, so very easy to read without tiring the eyes. Thank you Ms. Allegretto!

BRIDGE OF SIGHS AND DREAMS is available for purchase in paperback and eBook at:AMAZON:

 BARNES & NOBLE:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bridge-of-sighs…/1122645088…

BOOKLOCKER:

http://booklocker.com/books/8228.html

ITUNES:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams/id1041486835?mt=11

KOBO:

https://store.kobobooks.com/…/eb…/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams

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Festa della Liberazione

Tuscan Farmhouse at Sunset

Tuscan Farmhouse at Sunset

Festa della Liberazione

 Today is one of Italy’s most celebrated holidays: Festa della Liberazione (Liberation Day). It marks the fall of Mussolini’s Italian Social Republic and the end of the Nazi occupation in Italy in 1945. You can read more about it at: https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/italy/liberation-day

For a deeper insight into life in Nazi-occupied Italy, I invite you to read my novel: Bridge of Sighs and Dreams, on sale at: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015JRFQE8

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“Best WWII Historical Fiction”

“Best WWII Historical Fiction” – What a fabulous Earth Day gift. My novel Bridge of Sighs and Dreams is now #26 out of 118 on the “Best WW11 Historical Fiction” list on Goodreads.com I don’t mean to toot my own horn, well, yes I do. So I will.
HAPPY EARTH DAY!!!
A free excerpt can be read at: http://booklocker.com/books/8228.html
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“Couldn’t put the book down!” 5 – STAR REVIEW

Check out this generous 5-star review for Bridge of Sighs and Dreams from Janet Lombardi. Reviews (good reviews) not only boost sales, but they lift the author’s spirit in a way that’s difficult to explain. Thanks, Janet. I’m so happy you liked the book and grateful that you took the time to write such a lovely review. I’m glad you enjoyed the “Lombardi” context. Tanti auguri! 

“Couldn’t put the book down! From the beginning, the story gripped my attention and the detail to history was riveting. This book is for all people, men, women, history buffs, and Italians named Lombardi!”

 BRIDGE OF SIGHS AND DREAMS is available for purchase in paperback and eBook at:

AMAZON:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B015JRFQE8

 BARNES & NOBLE:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bridge-of-sighs…/1122645088…

BOOKLOCKER:

http://booklocker.com/books/8228.html

ITUNES:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams/id1041486835?mt=11

KOBO:

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

https://store.kobobooks.com/…/eb…/bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams

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CHARACTER INTERVIEW – BRIDGE OF SIGHS AND DREAMS

“History Imagined” invited me to participate on their historical fiction blog. The premise was for me to interview the antagonist in my novel “Bridge of Sighs and Dreams.” Since the protagonist, Angelina Rosini, and the antagonist, Lidia Corsini, shared center stage in the story, I felt it appropriate to include both women in this interview. As the two women are adversaries, I had to employ some fancy footwork in order to persuade these two rivals to sit together for this interview. On several occasions, one or the other threatened to walk out, but in the end, we completed the interview without bloodshed.
Many thanks to “History Imagined” for including me alongside such gifted authors.
The complete interview can be found at:
https://historyimagined.wordpress.com/gettingintocharacter/pamela-allegretto-interviews-angelina-rosini-and-lidia-corsini-from-bridge-of-sighs-and-dreams/

A partial interview is pasted below.

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

Bridge of Sighs and Dreams

PA: The year is 1944. I am in Nazi-occupied Rome, sitting in Lidia Corsini’s parlor. First, I want to thank you both for agreeing to this interview. I’ll begin with asking each of you to tell me about where you grew up and your family backgrounds. Angelina, will you start?

AR: Thank you, Miss Allegretto, for your interest in our lives. I regret that we should meet while our beloved Italy is in such a dire situation. I grew up an only child in a centuries-old farmhouse in Faicchio, a small village in Southern Italy, about 60 kilometers inland from Naples. Although my parents were not school educated, nor were quite a few Southern Italians farmers at that time, they were at least literate. They understood the value of an education and insisted that I attend school. Art was my favorite subject. When I was not in school, or helping with the farm chores, I dedicated that time to drawing. Paints, brushes, and canvas were a luxury we could not afford, so I worked on old newspapers with pencils and sometimes bits of charcoal. My parents acknowledged my talent and made countless personal sacrifices in order to pay for my advanced art studies.

PA: Lidia, did you also grow up in Faicchio?

LC: Absolutely not. Do I look like some illiterate farm girl? And may I say, your lack of this rudimentary information tells me that your ability to conduct an intelligent interview is questionable. I grew up in prestigious Vico Equense on the North Coast of the Sorrento peninsula that over-looks the Bay of Naples. My parents died when I was twelve-years-old and my brother, Pietro, was two. Our Zia Carmela took us in. And although she was well set financially, she was an incompetent, pathetic old cow, who left me the task of guardian and authoritarian to Pietro. Naturally, Pietro and I enjoyed proper schooling, unlike the hodge-podge education, if you even want to call it an education, offered in the farm districts.

PA: Yes, well, let’s move on. I understand that you are sisters-in-law. Angelina, you are married to Lidia’s brother, Pietro Rosini. Tell me about him and how you met.

AR: Ah, Pietro, he is my light. He is compassionate and selfless, with a delightful sense of humor and an unwavering optimism. I had gone to study painting in Vico Equense the summer after my high school graduation. I stayed with my uncle, Antonio Lombardi, who was devoted to intarsio, which is the complex process of the inlaid wood art form. I met Pietro on my first visit to my uncle’s workshop. I was immediately intrigued at how Pietro’s muscular arms and broad hands contradicted his delicate intarsio application, as he cut and fit each wood fragment onto an intricate pastoral scene. He had a kindness in his eyes that immediately touched my heart. His compassionate spirit, animated charm, and delightful sense of humor won me over. We had a lovely 3-year courtship before we married.

PA: Lidia, your husband, Aldo Corsini, is quite a renowned portrait artist. How did you meet, and what is he like?

LC: I never “settle.” I have always set my sights on the prize. Aldo was the most suitable bachelor in Vico Equense, so naturally, I determined to have him. He is a generous provider and a kind man, but his passion is directed at his art, not toward me. As for having sex with Aldo, for me, that is just another wifely duty no different from preparing meals and scrubbing floors. He has never been able to satisfy me, and I have little interest in letting him know what I want. However, out of the bedroom, I tell him exactly what I want, and one way or another, I always get it.
PA: Hmmm… Okay, so, let’s talk about your children, and how you see this war and the Nazi occupation affecting them. Angelina?

AR: Gina is just now five-years-old. But this war, the hardships she has endured, and the atrocities she has witnessed, have robbed her childhood. She’s had to flee a rain of bombs and machinegun fire. She has suffered piercing cold and biting hunger and thirst while forced to take refuge in a vile hog shed. Still, her delightful nature seldom dims. Gina is short for Regina, and she is our little queen. She is resilient. Most adults would have been brought to their knees had they experienced even a fraction of what my sweet angel has suffered. She is a bit small for her age, and I blame this on her extended time suffering from malnutrition. Now that we are in Rome, I am certain that she will thrive. She has inherited my tight curls and enthusiastic nature, and Pietro’s round, intense eyes and inquiring mind. Her long lashes that flutter like little wings and the notion of tinkling bells when she giggles are her own.

PA: Lidia, tell me about your son, Carmine.

LC: Carmine is a perfect child. He is eight-years-old but has what many refer to as an “old soul,” whatever that means. He is introspective to a point that often irritates me, as I contemplate what he’s thinking. However, it’s really of no consequence what he thinks, as long as he obeys my orders, which, of course, he always does without faltering. He seldom smiles and almost never laughs but then during these difficult times there is little for which to smile or laugh. He has impeccable manners and never balks at my demands. I suppose I already said that, but it is an important point that deserves repeating. I know that under my astute supervision he will grow to be a successful and powerful man. With me guiding his life, there will be no position out of his reach.

PA: Let’s move on to the war. The Germans occupy your country, and here in Rome, the Nazis have executed a mass roundup of the Jewish population. What are your thoughts on this development, and how does it impact your sensibilities? Angelina?

AR: I am horrified. The Jewish population is comprised of hardworking, creative, compassionate people. Their contribution to the betterment of the city has been significant. Many are doctors, nurses, scientists, teachers, writers, poets, and artists. They have committed no crimes. Some are elderly and infirm. Many are children. These roundups are horrific. Most have been dragged from their beds in the middle of the night and loaded onto trucks like livestock. This bigotry and hate gnaw at my very soul. We are all human beings and should not be judged and persecuted simply by our religious affiliation.

PA: Lidia, your thoughts?

LC: Angelina has always had her head stuck in the sand, maybe it’s her lack of education and cultural refinements, I don’t know and honestly don’t care. Here are the facts: the Nazis occupy Rome. We can all moan and groan and wallow in self-pity, or we can seize the situation and benefit. The Jews just happen to be an unfortunate lot. The ones who were rounded up and shipped off to who knows where were just not smart enough to flee the city when they had the chance. I have no pity for ignorance. They heard the rumors of roundups weeks in advance and should have acted then.

AR: Lidia, how can you be so callous?

LC: And how can you be such a pathetic dreamer? You see the world as though it were a painting on your canvas: all blues and reds and yellows and greens. Well, that is not the real world. The world we live in is black and white and shades of gray. Get used to it!

PA: Lidia, let’s go back to your comment where you said, “We can seize the situation and benefit.” What did you mean?

LC: Look, I am accustomed to a certain lifestyle and will do whatever it takes to not only maintain it but to better it. Certainly, I’m not about to divulge my intentions. However, let me just say that no matter how this war turns out, I intend to be a winner.

PA: So, moving forward, I’d like to play a little word game. I’ll say a word, and you each give me a brief, personal definition: Empathy.

AR: I believe to have empathy is to have strength. When we put ourselves in another’s shoes, we gain knowledge we might not have imagined. To be empathetic makes our lives if you will pardon the cliché, worth living.

LC: Ha! Do you see why I say Angelina has her head in the sand? Empathy is a weakness. The minute you start trying to “put yourself in another’s shoes,” you have lost your power.

PA: Lidia, power seems to be quite important to you.

LC: Power is everything.

PA: Let’s try a different word: Joy.

AR: Joy is the pleasure I feel when I see the delight in my daughter’s eyes as she inspects the petals on a wildflower. Joy is the sound of Pietro’s laughter.

LC: Joy is a fraud. There are only degrees of gratification.

PA: Okay, so, let’s try one more: Guilt.

AR: My sense of failure to do more for the Italian Jews. The emotion I feel when I see the countless homeless Roman mothers and children dressed in rags and begging for scraps of bread while I am fortunate to have Lidia’s hospitality.

LC: Guilt is a useless emotion that I have never experienced. I believe we all make our own destinies, regardless of circumstances beyond our control. Only fools with their heads in the clouds submit themselves to such a foolish sentiment as guilt. Those who seek power cannot afford this weak trait.

PA: I’d like to close this interview by asking each of you to tell me your dreams for the future.

AR: My dream is that Pietro is alive and well and that he will return to us. I also dream of a country free from war. I dream of a happy future for our Gina and also for Lidia’s sweet Carmine.

LC: You can keep Carmine out of your dreams. Carmine doesn’t need your useless dreams. Carmine will be fine with reality, as long as I am in charge of his life. Dreamers are losers. Dreamers are weaklings, incapable of seeing the real world and what must be done to get ahead in it. Dreams are for losers.

AR: Lidia, you can’t mean that. Dreams are what keep our spirits alive.

PA: Maybe we should end this interview here. I know that as an interviewer, I am supposed to remain impartial, but on this last point, I must agree with Angelina. So, I will close this interview on that positive note: Dreams do keep our spirits alive. I thank you both for your time, and I offer my most sincere wish that this war will end soon.

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