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A Family Story (Part 1 of 4)

There’s that saying: You can choose your friends but not your family. It’s my family, an Italian family, that’s provided me with the material for my writing. As a mature debut author, I’ve had many years to think about this. But only in the last decade did the stars align for both me and for my mother, the main source of information for a family story.

A story about an Italian family

I’m a middle child from an Italian traditional family that didn’t want for much through hard work and planning. Growing up in Africa, I was an introvert who loved the escapism of books. Attending a Catholic convent in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia), I’d often view other pupils as if from a distance. They intrigued me. How they made friends so easily and walked around in groups. I came from an Italian family whose Mamma was and still is, the most genuine and well-intentioned person that I know, and a Papa, who loved life and laughter but for whom duty was the inflexible theme that could be depended upon and was the basis for his life and our upbringing. So many questions jumped out at me? How was I going to tell their story? Why was I telling their story? Where should I start and end? What should I include or leave out? How would I write? Was it to be in chronological order or should I somehow bundle together the stories that flowed from my mother’s lips? I was presented with a dilemma. Recently, I’d attained a Master Degree in Project Management. This had been four years of part-time study whilst working full-time. So instinctively, I wanted to have structure and a plan. Yet writing is a creative action. Squashing it into a rigid form with tethers around it was like trying to keep a wild animal bound. I didn’t realise it then but that was just going to be one of many challenges I faced and had to ponder when writing a family story.

Marisa Parker - Author

Part 2 released on December 29th, 2017


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