by Melinda Gallo

Sarah Dunant at the British Institute of Florence

Earlier this evening, I was walking briskly down the street alongside the Arno to get to The British Institute of Florence. I had planned on meeting two girlfriends to attend a speech by the author Sarah Dunant. I made my way through the crowds and found myself walking in the street more often than on the marciapiede (sidewalk).

Luckily one of my girlfriends arrived early to reserve our seats because the library was quite crowded when I arrived, and completely full by the beginning of Ms. Dunant's talk.

As we sat in neat rows of chairs in the library with its high walls covered with books, Sarah Dunant talked about having the "odd dead body" in a story. She explained how having one entices people to read on so they can find out what happened and who did it. As an example, she read an excerpt from one of her books. Ms. Dunant kept the audience entertained and interested as she talked at length about people's fascination with death.

After the talk, we were served some refreshments in another room. I chatted with my girlfriends about Ms. Dunant's talk. I didn't stay long because I had to get back to work.

I enjoyed the cultural outing with my girlfriends even though we didn't stay that long. I love listening to writers talk about their work and writing in general. I hope that more writers will come to Florence to talk because they seem to be too few and too far apart for me.

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