USA | 2009
Stacey D’Erasmo is the author of three novels. Her first novel, Tea (Algonquin, 2000), was selected as a New York Times Notable Book. Her second novel, A Seahorse Year (Houghton Mifflin, 2004), was named a Best Book of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle and Newsday and won both a Lambda Literary Award and a Ferro-Grumley Award. Her third novel, The Sky Below, was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in January, 2009.
Being at Santa Maddalena was, quite simply, a revelation for me. I’m not quite sure how it is that I could be so fortunate as to be invited at exactly the moment that I most needed to be there. When I got to Santa Maddalena I was mentally tired, carrying just the newest, most tender beginnings of the next novel, and intellectually restless as well. I needed very much not only to be in retreat and to find my way with the new book, but also to enter a wider world. There is nothing more pleasurable than finding oneself somewhere one has never been before, discovering once again that the world is much bigger and more various than one had imagined. That several writers whom I admire tremendously happened to be there as well was extraordinary. Equally extraordinary, as you know, was the entirely unexpected grace of the novel suddenly opening one day in my intimate studio in the tower. I had thought it would be ages before I solved that problem, but instead the solution just dropped into my lap. I have years of work ahead of me, of course, but that gift makes it all so much easier.