Wednesday, September 26, 2007

But is he a nice guy?

After reading a charming book like Francesca’s Kitchen in the most recent Select Editions with so many likeable, often comical, characters, you have to wonder, is the author as nice as his book? Well, I can testify that Peter Pezzelli is as nice as you hope he is. When I e-mailed Mr. Pezzelli just after Easter in April 2007 with some interview questions for the AfterWords feature (see page 269 in the volume), he was generous with his time, patient with my queries, and had fun responding--in Italian--to my Italian grazie mille-thank you sentiment composed with the help of my bi-lingual Italian-American colleague here at Select Editions, Ann Belluscio. Here's how it went:

E-Mail #1:

Hi Tom,
Here are my responses to your questions. Hope they fit the bill.


E-Mail #2:

Dear Peter,
Grazie mille.
Speriamo che hai avuto una buona Pasqua nella famiglia.
Your responses will be very helpful, indeed. Many thanks. (For the above, I had help from my RD colleague Ann Belluscio, who is enviably bi-lingual, and who sometimes passes me a genuine old country recipe to try.)
We look forward to seeing your next novel.

Tom C.

E-Mail #3:

Prego, e si, abbiamo fatto una bellissima Pasqua ieri, ma come sempre ho mangiato troppo! Auguri Pasquali a Lei e Signora Belluscio!

Of course, at first, I had absolutely no idea what he'd written back to me, and was relieved when Ann translated. (If I need to interview Peter Pezzelli again—and I hope I do—I’m relying on the fact that he’ll be nice enough not to insist on Italian!) For non-Italian speakers, here's the English version. I wrote: Great, many thanks, I hope you had a happy Easter with your family. And he wrote back: You’re welcome, and yes, I had a wonderful Easter yesterday, but as always, I ate too much. Best Easter wishes to you and to Signora Belluscio.


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