A woman has to demonstrate in every moment to be thirty times better than a man, to gain trust and to be considered. So, she has to be tenacious, combattative but not aggressive, she has to love her work a lot and not let herself be discouraged by the daily discriminiation she encounters.
Friendship is a form of love. In fact, you don’t know how it starts or why. It is subject to the caprices of time. It can grow or die without a reason. It can last a lifetime.
I dream of continuing to dream.
The waves have the habit of going forward and then flowing back.
Above all else she mustn’t think that using her body will help her attain her goal. Men use women who play seductively, and then they look down on them.
Falling in love with a story is like falling in love with a person. It tends to occupy your life, your thoughts. You can’t do anything else for a long time.
I don’t always understand my characters. I write to understand them better.
Characters simply come and find me. They sit down, I offer them a coffee. They tell me their story and then they almost always leave. When a character, after drinking some coffee and briefly telling her story, wants dinner and then a place to sleep and then breakfast and so on, for me the time has come to write the novel.
The future is created through memory.
When I look around me, I see mostly women who are alone, left by their husbands after their kids grew up, for a younger woman, which is the most common thing, or suddenly abandoned after getting married and left with young children.
While on the level of civil rights many things have changed decisively for the better, on the level of attitudes and mentality there’s still a long way to go. On the other hand it’s obvious that it’s much easier to change a law than to change a way of thinking.
To leave a book is like leaving the better part of oneself.
Since the journey is a metaphor – the most ambiguous and seductive of metaphors, we tell ourselves – it can also be born of immobility. There is no need to drag our bodies around so much, all dressed up. It’s hot, there are flies, diseases. It is enough to close our eyes, seated on a chair in the shade, to float on the waves of imagination. Isn’t that what books are there for?
It’s easier to change a law than an age-old mentality. Deep down, many prejudices, many hostilities, many fears persist. But if we take a look at all the peoples in the world, we have to realize that the condition of women is very backward and sometimes very sad, from both the social and psychological points of view.
Something struck me in Africa, in black Africa, where polygamy is legal: the solitary woman is the rule there, from at an extremely young age, and the children are always the mother’s responsibility.
What strikes me most of all in Christian culture, which is supposed to be concerned with the rights of the weakest, is the lack of regard toward animals. Maybe because they’re thought to be soulless.
Aging has brought me greater liberty in fiction. When I was young I was harder on myself. I wrote with an idea of absolute seriousness.
I also really loved the sea when I was young, when I lived in Sicily, but unfortunately the sea here has been reduced to a trash dump. It’s a horrible pain going to the beach; you risk getting an infection or getting tar all over you.
He talked and talked because he didn’t know what to say.
There are still countries where women don’t enjoy basic rights like the vote or the freedom to study or the freedom of choice in marriage. Every year there are twenty million little girls in Africa who are deprived of their sexuality through brutal genital operations. Basically, there’s still much to be done.
A winter without snow seems depressing, lacking.
I consider myself an aware person who is sensitive to injustice.
One writes what one lives, even if not in a literal way. Someone who has gone through an unhappy love tends to describe unhappy loves, even if they have nothing to do with their own.
In a novel there’s not much autobiography. There are characters in transit. Naturally, I can project something of my experiences onto the characters, but they have their own autonomy, a personality that is often a mystery to me.
A painter’s hand has a thirst for thieving, it steals from heaven and makes a gift to the memories of men, it feigns eternity and it delights in this pretence almost as if it had created rules of its own, more durable and more profoundly true.