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The Limitless Reach of Fiction: "Guernica" in Brazil

I can't guess how many thousands of readers I've met over the years, and I'm always appreciative of their gracious response. But I'm not sure I've ever been brought to tears by their comments.


The setup: I was very gratified when a terrific high school teacher in Brazil invited me to take part in their book fair via Skype. Her class had read my first novel "Guernica," which I heard had been successful in Brazil. For the fair, they constructed an entire room of posters and dioramas to illustrate the story. Thursday, over the computer, I answered amazing questions from a room filled with bright and remarkably engaged students. I was so impressed by their insights.


At the end, Priscila, the teacher, introduced me to Sara, one of her students who was a refugee from war-torn Syria. In exceptional English, Sara told me what the book meant to her, especially as it reflected her experiences in Syria. Her words took my breath away. As she got more emotional, I wanted to somehow teleport to Brazil to give her hugs. Instead, all I kept saying was "Ohhhh."


I hope I could become a talented enough writer to create characters who have met their challenges with the grace and strength of Sara. I hope some day she becomes an author and tells her own story!

Big hugs, to you, Sara.


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