Born in Turin in 1972, Fabio Geda is an Italian novelist who works with children in difficulties. He writes for several Italian magazines and newspapers, and teaches creative writing at the Italian school of storytelling, Scuola Holden, in Turin.
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Fabio Geda and Afghan refugee Enaiatollah Akbari answer questions about their literary collaboration and discuss the powerful process of creating In the Sea There are Crocodiles
Questions for Fabio Geda:
What made you decide to write Enaiatollah's story?
I met Enaiat during a presentation of my first novel, four years ago. In that novel I told the story of a Romanian boy who travels across Europe in search of his grandpa who works as an actor in the street. The association that invited me to present the book had also invited a boy who really did travel alone for a long time. In this way the real story of the boy could play as a sort of countermelody to the fictional story I had written. That boy was Enaiat.
That evening, while I was listening to him telling his story - a story so dramatic, so painful - I discovered that he was able to tell it with an incredible lightness, a surprising irony. So I thought it would be nice to put the same lightness, the same irony, in the pages of a book.
What was it like working with Enaiatollah? Please, describe your process in recording his memories and preserving his perspective. Were there any particular challenges?
Working with Enaiat was a great experience. My ...
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