I’m cutting my personal writing time short today so that I can watch Italy vs. Paraguay in World Cup soccer. Ever since our family lived in Merano for about three and a half years, we always cheer for the Azurri on the international stage. In fact, my son wanted to play for them when he grew up. I had to explain to him that it simply wouldn’t be possible–that he was an American and would have to play for the U.S.
“But I lived in Italy!” he protested.
“That doesn’t matter,” I told him.
“I have friends there,” he said.
“That doesn’t matter either.”
I think that I narrowly managed to avoid saying that he would have to marry Angelica to become an Italian citizen. But there really was a point before we moved back to the U.S. where people at the plant where my husband worked offered to start the paperwork for our family to become Italian citizens. I think that they were only half-joking.
And I do have “nostalgia” for Italy with the Italian meaning and pronunciation: no-stall-GEE-ah. That’s why it was such a pleasure to essentially return to Merano every day while writing DEFENDING IRENE, my soccer novel. I could write the novel from the perspective of an Italian-American because that’s what I felt myself to be despite my Northern European genetics.