Oh the day last week when I read the short story Vittorio by Shirley Hazzard! There was no covid, no distance learning, no thoughts about what to have for dinner. Just me on a terrace somewhere in Italy in the sun, perhaps smoking my first cigarette.
I was watching an online event last week with Lily King and Ann Patchett and they reminded me of everything I love about books – talking about them! They got so excited getting to share their favourites titles with each other, and that’s when they started talking about Shirley Hazzard who I’ll admit, I didn’t know. Lily keeps Hazzard’s Evening of the Holiday on her desk at all times and when she squealed and held it up to show Ann and hugged it to her face, I immediately put in an order for it at my book store. Then Ann got so excited and talked about her favourite, The Great Fire with such joy that now I have it out from the library along with a gorgeous new collection of Hazzard’s short stories with an introduction by Zoe Heller. I am working my way through them and each time I open the covers it’s like sunshine pouring out from within. The details, the dialogue, the descriptions of Italy and spring in England make winter and everything else right now melt away. Her characters, the unspoken drama she leaves to be interpreted by the reader! Talk about spring fever!
It’s so wonderful to be reminded that lovely surprises can still happen at any minute.