A flattering observation from a reader!
This week a reader paid me an extremely flattering compliment. After reading #thevaticangames she said my writing style reminded her of Joseph Conrad's! Superb compliment, especially as I know that Conrad was a fellow poet.
I have to start by admitting that I haven’t read his work but now I feel strongly driven and committed to doing so. Not just due to a new curiosity born from my reader’s observation, but also because -having now read about him- I have noticed a few astonishing parallels between both our lives.
To begin with, he was a foreign author who wrote in English as an acquired language and coincidentally he was born in Ukraine, like my grandmother! Most meaningful to me are the literary resemblances that seem uncanny: his well-known depiction of tests to the human spirit in the face of challenging times are also always present in my novels and my poetry. Exceptionally similar too, considering the era in which he was writing, his characters have usually an anti-heroic quality, again mirroring the type of protagonist I tend to give life to in my books; even in The Vatican Games. And likewise his exploration of the human psyche, which never escapes most of my characters. Finally, the understanding that Conrad’s works seem to have anticipated later world events. And here, I am drawing a parallel only to my latest work The Vatican Games, of which some readers have stated is not only speculative but predictive of a possible near future. Thank you, reader, for such an enlightening comment and for helping me discover Joseph Conrad!