A timid girl. A young soldier. A love story.
GOODBYE TO Italia is an award-winning non-fiction romantic story of Italian drama, courage and humour. It is set in Italy and Africa during World War 2.
So as to stay true to the retelling by my mamma and pappa, and to capture the essence of living through those times, the chapters in the first half of the book interchange between the two diverse characters, Mariolina and Eugenio (13 years older than her), as they come of age.
Ciao! I'm Marisa Parker (nee Piergiovanni). My two books (non-fiction), “GOODBYE TO Italia” (2016) and “Ciao! WE’RE IN AFRICA” (2018) recounts the emotional experiences of my Italian parents, Maria and Eugenio Piergiovanni. The first book is an award-winning story of their survival and coming-of-age through World War II in Italy, and African Prisoner of War camps. The second book reveals their daring travel to Rhodesia and South Africa, in the fifties, seeking adventure and fortune.
I was born in Rhodesia, Africa (now Zimbabwe). In 2000, my Scottish husband Gerald, and I, and our two daughters, left Zimbabwe. Marisa and Gerald now live in the Gold Coast hinterland. Website - www.marisaparkerauthor.com
Creativity is a magic (mojo) that can be hard to find if we're being constrained in a situation or environment like we are now. Life itself can be full of challenges such as, writer's block for an author.
When a blank page is staring up at me, I use that time to undertake some research. Relevant 'stuff' on the internet intrigues me and seems to jumpstart my ideas ...
Growing up, education was a bind for me; but now, I find that my thirst for knowledge —and what an incredible world it is out there—makes me marvel and feel inspired.
My dad believed education to be the nectar of the gods, a tool to be used to 'grow' oneself. During WW2, he was confined within the strangling boundaries of a POW camp. It really was extraordinary that he happened to be in one that was overseen by a forward-thinking South African commandant.
Goodbye to Italia
Twice a week, goods are distributed that have obviously arrived from outside the camp. They are a mix of clothing, essential toiletries, and other things that provide us with a modicum of decency. One of the guards doesn’t mind responding to my queries about the growing population of prisoners and army personnel. ‘There are always opportunities for small businesses to flourish in war-time. The general public is migrating here and providing services to support our expansion. There is even an opportunity for POWs to go and work in the re-opened Cullinan and Premier mines, if you’re interested?’ I shake my head. I don’t want to work in the mines, even though the thought of finding diamonds is alluring. No, I will be more suited to taking stock and distributing goods, much like what I used to do when I was a civilian. But the tricky part is working out how to get into that line of work.