Tunis-based Italian writer discusses work in progress – Tunisie

TUNIS – In a period marked by the coronavirus emergency, some have chosen to return to Italy while others remain abroad. The Venetian writer Elena Nicolai, settled in Tunis after a stint in Pakistan, is taking advantage of these days of general quarantine in Tunisia to finish writing her latest book. In Tunis, crossroads of history and cultures, the characters of Nicolai meet. The author tries to bring together in his work various cultures and distant places, through destinies swept away by historical currents. Accompanying the protagonist of “Il Vecchio Leone” (“The Old Lion”), her first novel published in 2017, readers find themselves in an Italian province where the colors of Tunisian streets and meetings in crowded cafes are found. Jasmine, the flower that became a symbol of the country’s uprising, is seen in a chapter titled “Il Profumo del Gelsomino” (The Scent of Jasmine).

Memory, reflection and the search for meaning through distant lands was also a key theme in his second novel, “L’Albero delle Quaglie – Tra i Sentieri di Islamabad un Segreto”, published in 2018. The author said at ANSA that her latest novel is expected to be published before Christmas 2020.

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