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Book Feature: Branka Čubrilo’s Multi-genre Collection, THE LONELY POET AND OTHER STORIES!
Hi, readers! We
have a real treat in store for you today, a spotlight on a book byBrankaČubrilo, a talented author!
We wish you lots of success on your literary fiction collection, which also has a touch of romance, inspirational tales and mystery! Let's check out the details, shall we?
Here is the book blurb.
"Otto Visconti creates a theatre of the absurd in which he is the main
character and the anti-hero, the victor and the victim, the celebrity
and an irrelevant, obscure and insecure poet misplaced in an isolated
and cold world created by his insecurities, obsessions and illusions,
governed by the strange inner forces throwing him mercilessly into
absurd situations and even more bizarre conclusions and outcomes. He is
the main protagonist and the narrator of his misfortunes in the first
part of the collection. The second part of the collection offers
stories collected from Sydney to New York featuring odd characters in
their constant search for meaning, for satisfaction, fulfillment or
adventure. They chose unusual avenues in their pursuit of personal
happiness; the avenues that often lead them astray."
Branka is also giving us a peek at her book today!
We were sitting at the table having breakfast. Father
“I have something to tell you ... Simona’s pregnant ...”
Upon delivering this sentence his face had become as
red as if he had said something very shameful.The very
same redness spilt over mother’s face; her neck, even her hands became red and
sweaty and her fingers started to tremble heavily, which caused the tinkling of
the spoon in the sugar bowl, and mother muttered a red-hot sentence from her
flaming throat with a voice tinkling with excitement (everything, everything
tinkled during that particular morning):
don’t have to say a word, I know it all. You can go, but you have to know one
thing—you are not going to take a single thing with you. Go!” Red and
trembling she stood up and ran towards the bedroom where her tears had caught
up with her after she had tried to keep them on the edge of her eyelashes while
she was still at the table. When she slammed the bedroom door, silence was
hanging over the table; the tinkling of the cups, the saucers and her own
fingers had stopped, the tinkling of her voice had stopped, too, the only thing
that could be heard was my father clearing his throat while looking at the cup
of now absolutely cold coffee.
Simona. We knew Simona well. Why did mother get so
upset? Why did her fingers tinkle in chorus with fine china while the redness
spilt all over her face? Why did father’s face get so red that he resembled a
little embarrassed boy who had just told a shameful lie to his parents?
We know Simona well; she is my father’s secretary. And
what a secretary she’s been; father always used to say that God, himself, had sent Simona to his office,
he used to say that he would lose his head without Simona ... I can’t see why
mother got so agitated ... so what if she is pregnant, she is not
I said to my father:
afraid that now she is going to leave because she is pregnant? Does it worry
you to look for another secretary?”
He did not look into my eyes but rather somewhere
around my chest, and with a still dull, quiet voice said:
are you really that stupid or are you just pretending to be that way?”
I did not understand what he was asking. He stood up
and walked out without a coat into a cold Milan morning.
We knew Simona. She came into his office some five
years ago, that’s exactly how much older she was than I - five years. She was
eighteen when she started to work for him. When I had laid my eyes on her, I
thought, “This is exactly how my future
wife is going to look.”
Oh merciful Lord, she had the most beautiful smile, I
had never seen a smile like hers. It adorned her face so beautifully that I was
not able to notice anything else: the coulour or the shape of her eyes, the
shape of her nose or chin ... bah, what shape? No other shape was there to
distinguish, nothing, there was only Simona’s smile on that face. Simona’s
smile was always there like the sun in a cloudless sky.
Whenever I came to father’s office Simona would treat
me with chocolates, which she kept in the first drawer on the left hand side of
her desk. I would always take one, but Simona would not take any, for she would
say she had already had one in the morning, which was exactly what she would
allow herself to have (I marvelled at her discipline!)
My first cup of coffee ever! Simona had prepared it
for me. I came to father’s office carrying some papers which mother had sent on
father’s request. He was not there; Simona said:
down, Otto. Have a cup of coffee with me.”
There I had enjoyed my first coffee, the sweetest, and
I had never ever experienced that sweetness again but I had promised myself
once again that the woman I was going to love would carry on her face the
ever-present Simona’s smile (was it good or bad luck, the devil knows; later
I met Her with that smile which
overshadowed even Simona’s seemingly perfect smile).
Whenever I would meet Simona my hands would tremble
just as my mother’s hands had trembled today. I never knew the real reason for
the trembling of my hands ... was it because of her smile or was it because of
her pitch-black hair, combed and sleek looking as if it was made of tar ... or
was it because of the fireflies in her eyes which flew towards you as she
talked to you or they flew towards the window to reach the wide sky? ... Live
fireflies in Simona’s eyes.
When father had walked out without a coat (was it
really too hot for him, or was he in such a hurry that he had forgotten his
coat, who would really know now?) I had entered mother’s room. I found her
lying on the bed crying, I sat down on the edge of the bed without a word.
After a short time she got up, wiped off her tears and said:
just sit there. I want to be left alone. Get out!”
why did you get so upset about it? He is going to find another secretary.” She gave
me one of her dumbfounded looks and asked:
are you, Otto?”
really brainless or are you pretending to be?”
get you ...”
father is going to leave us.”
It’s not like he and ...” I left the room without ending my sentence for my
mother needed solitude. Only in solitude could she find peace and comfort.
In the dining room, everything was still the same as
it was in the moment when we left it. Like some sort of theatre scene ...
without protagonists ... it looked as if they had left in search of new roles.
Simona! No, this
is not possible! This is what she thinks. That’s why she said to him, “You don’t have to say a word, I know it
This is not possible!
Simona! With her smile, with fireflies in her eyes,
with her white teeth and dimples in her cheeks.
My father - the man whose face never showed a smile,
whose teeth are brownish from smoking and age, and gum disease has left them
rickety regardless of his daily hygienic routine and efforts.
Simona—one head taller than him, slim with a tiny
waist and long, long legs and a little bottom like an Easter bun, with elegant hands
and slim, long fingers adorned with numerous yellow rings.
My father ... stocky, short. He is already belting his
pants underneath his sagging breasts. Short-legged, shortsighted, sullen,
unapproachable and a know-it-all.
Simona ... with her pitch-black hair, dark but shiny,
she looks like a perfectly crafted doll from some exotic place ... with her big
almond- shaped eyes, the eyes of a child where fireflies are shining a light
with their little brilliant torches wooing observers to drown in it.
My father ... half-bald but convinced that, yet,
nobody can really notice it (nor can Simona), since he is combing his hair
across his head, over the bald patch, from left to right avoiding the wind at
any cost ...
No, it can’t be true. Can it be true?
Wow! There's definitely an interesting story here!
Thanks for letting us know all about your multi-genre collection! It sounds intriguing! :)
About the Author:
At the age of eighteen Branka Cubrilo wrote her first novel, I Knew Jane
Eyre, which won the Yugoslavian Young Writers Award in 1982. Soon after
she wrote a sequel called Looking for Jane Eyre. In 1999 Branka
published the book Fiume Corre – Rijeka Tece, a year later Requiem for
Barbara, and in 2001 Little Lies – Big Lies (as a part of a trilogy
called Spanish Stories for which she obtained a scholarship from the
Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to research the cultural
and historical settings of Cadiz in Andalusia). The Lonely Poet and
Other Stories is Branka’s third book published in English by Speaking
Volumes, following her earlier novels The Mosaic of the Broken Soul
(2011) and Fiume – The Lost River (2014). Branka’s latest novel,
Dethroned, will be published with the same publisher in 2017. Branka has
been living in Sydney with her daughter Althea since 1992. Now she
predominantly writes in English and translates her earlier works in
English. Praise for Branka Cubrilo 5-Star Reviews on Amazon.com.