I’m here to tell you that i enormously liked your marvellous novel, "The accidental woman". It was not the first one by you that I read – Expo 58 being the first. The accidental woman impressed me mostly because I very much saw myself in it. I’m not a woman, I happen to be a man, but with the same Maria’s lack of confidence. You described her problems with such a wit, with such a depth, that I mirrored myself into it and I devoured the pages. The final deserves some extra words. Maria and the lark, the lark observing Maria from above, getting smaller and smaller on the hill side – just marvellous.
Do I deserve a word by you, or is it just a routine message?
I would like so much to get in touch with you and talk about it with you – is it possible or is it just a dream?
And if you’re coming around Tuscany and Florence, well, why not just call on me for a toast with – well, I’m going to choose the wine, but it will just fine anyway.
Hope to hear from you soon
The accidental soul
You know, I’m very touched by this message. It’s now more than thirty years since I wrote The Accidental Woman, and yet I still feel very close to this book. There are books I’ve written in between which I can hardly remember, which feel as though they were written by somebody else, and yet I can remember every detail of The Accidental Woman clearly. It’s so different from most of my books and yet it has become, and remains, one of my own favourites.
So thank you for your warm words about this book. I can still recall where I was when I wrote the scene with the lark: sitting at the kitchen table in my parents’ house. It was late on Sunday evening and I wrote the passage quickly because there was something I wanted to watch on TV! I thought I would come back to it later and make some changes but later that night I read the scene again and it seemed OK just as I’d written it.
It took about a year and a half to find a publisher for the book. When a publisher finally accepted it and called to tell me, I put the telephone down and literally jumped for joy – the only time in my life I’ve ever done that.