Le grandi interviste: Jessica Brockmole

Interviste

Novemila giorni e una sola notte di Jessica Brockmole (Editrice Nord 2013) rappresenta un autentico caso editoriale, perché quest’appassionante romanzo epistolare è stato venduto in 21 paesi in meno di una settimana.

Gentile signora, non sono un cultore della poesia, lo ammetto. Eppure qualcosa nei suoi versi mi ha toccato come non accadeva da anni”. “Caro Mr Graham, avrebbe dovuto vedere quanto scompiglio ha causato nel nostro piccolo ufficio postale: si sono radunati tutti attorno a me mentre leggevo la mia prima lettera da un fan come direste voi americani”. Marzo 1912: tra l’Illinois e la verde, selvaggia e incontaminata isola britannica di Skye sarebbe iniziata una fitta corrispondenza che avrebbe cambiato la vita della poetessa e del giovane insegnante per sempre. Accanto alle lettere di Elspeth e David l’autrice pone le missive della scozzese Margaret, la quale al tempo della II Guerra Mondiale si domanda chi sia veramente sua madre. “Il primo volume della mia vita è esaurito”. Jessica Brockmole si dimostra un’esordiente di lusso raccontando la struggente storia di un uomo e di una donna divisi da un Oceano e dalla guerra ma uniti dall’amore e da una profonda comprensione reciproca. “Siamo andati direttamente al nocciolo esplorando le profondità e la vastità delle nostre anime”.

Abbiamo incontrato l’autrice del libro più romantico dell’anno che si trova in Italia in occasione dell’uscita del volume. “Non farmi andare al fronte senza averti toccato almeno una volta, senza aver sentito la tua voce che pronuncia il mio nome”.

Ci descrive in breve le principali caratteristiche dei protagonisti di Letters from Skye?
Il romanzo comincia quando un giovane studente americano molto impulsivo scrive una lettera a una poetessa scozzese che vive reclusa. David ama l’avventura e vuole scoprire che cosa lo aspetta nella vita ma non si rende conto che questo viaggio alla scoperta di se stesso e della propria vita sarà più lungo e più difficile di quanto lui possa prevedere. La poetessa invece vive su di un’isola e sente l’impulso di conoscere che cosa si trova al di là di questa isola, sapere dove andrà nel mondo e cosa potrebbe mai diventare.

Ci siamo raccontati le nostre paure più profonde… ”. Elspeth e David senza mai incontrarsi ma scambiandosi missive per novemila giorni finiscono inevitabilmente per innamorarsi, un po’ come avviene oggi con le e-mail. Che cosa ne pensa?
L’utilizzo della posta elettronica richiede quasi le stesse competenze della scrittura in generale, perché bisogna esprimersi utilizzando un certo tono, occorre dire con chiarezza cosa si ha dentro. Tutto però avviene velocemente, rapidamente. Le lettere, invece, soprattutto quelle dell’epoca nella quale ho ambientato il mio romanzo hanno un ritmo più cadenzato, più lento che unisce un senso di trepidazione e di attesa legata al fatto che una determinata lettera può essere andata persa, o essere arrivata in ritardo. A tutto ciò ricordiamo che all’epoca c’era la I Guerra Mondiale che innalzava il livello emotivo della popolazione, figuriamoci un carteggio…

Elspeth vive intrappolata nella sua isola/rifugio a causa della sua fobia (ha il terrore delle barche e dell’acqua), ma le sue poesie portano una parte di lei nel mondo, vero?
Sì, è proprio così. Le paure di Elspeth sono quelle che la trattengono a Skye, sono anche fobie inconsce come il terrore di provare cose nuove e di abbandonare tutto quello che le è familiare. Ma nel contempo le paure di Elspeth sono quelle che la portano a muoversi, ad andare avanti nella vita. Lei poi utilizza quelle fobie per portarsi incontro a David e quindi conoscerlo. La poetessa scozzese infine usa quelle paure per aprirsi all’avventura che può esserci al di là di quell’orizzonte dell’isola.

Quanto è stata importante per il plot ambientare questa grande storia d’amore nell’isola di Skye?
È fondamentale perché la poetessa si sente quasi confinata, racchiusa da questi confini fisici stessi dell’isola, dalle sue coste e dalle acque attorno a quelle coste. Questo è stato molto importante perché sarebbe stato completamente diverso un personaggio che fosse vissuto in un paesino, per esempio. Inoltre l’isola per me era molto interessante dal punto di vista storico. Ho letto diversi diari e diverse lettere dell’epoca della Grande Guerra che provenivano da Skye. Da queste letture ho compreso che gli isolani vivevano la guerra come qualcosa di distante da loro. Però c’è stata una battaglia in particolare che ha portato via molti soldati che sono morti in battaglia provenienti da Skye. Questa cruenta battaglia ha reso la guerra molto più reale e vicina per gli abitanti dell’isola.

Una trascinante storia d’amore, che celebra il potere della speranza, il suo trionfo, a dispetto del tempo e delle tragedie”. Concorda con la definizione di Vanessa Diffenbaugh, autrice di Il linguaggio segreto dei fiori?
Sì, sono d’accordo con questa affermazione, sono certa soprattutto che la speranza riesca a trascendere qualunque tragedia. Ho studiato molto le vicende storiche legate alla Grande Guerra ma quello che mi interessava di più dell’esperienza bellica erano le vicende dei singoli individui, le loro storie umane. Storie dove era presente la gioia, la speranza, il dolore e il sollievo. Ritengo che le lettere per quanto possano essere semplici contengano sentimenti d’amore e di amicizia. Spiragli di speranza che aiutano a superare una guerra.

Jessica Brockmole ha vissuto per diversi anni in Scozia, dove, proprio come la protagonista del suo romanzo, ha scoperto quanto sia difficile mantenere un rapporto a distanza. Ora vive in Indiana insieme al marito e collabora come critica letteraria per l’Historical Book Review. Novemila giorni e una sola notte è il suo romanzo d’esordio e, prima ancora della sua pubblicazione, si è già imposto in tutto il mondo come un vero fenomeno editoriale. Letters from Skye è stato tradotto da Irene Annoni.

Autore: Jessica Brockmole

Titolo: Novemila giorni e una sola notte

Editore: Nord

Anno di pubblicazione: 2013

Prezzo: 16 euro

Pagine: 334

Articolo a firma di Alessandra Stoppini

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