Cat, writer

Your story (biography) in 10 lines
I was born in Greenville, South Carolina in 1955 and grew up in a small town in New Jersey about an hour away from New York City. I could read before going to kindergarten, and at age six I wrote my first book called, Children of Other Lands. But I wanted to be an actress, and studied theater with Stella Adler in NY, then moved to LA where I married a TV director. In my mid-30s, I gave up acting and switched to writing, with much greater success. In April, 1998, I came to Venice to write for 3 months on a tourist visa. When the 3 months were over, I did not want to leave. I went back to LA, started divorce proceedings, and was back in Venice by September, 1998. My first novel, Harley, Like a Person, was published in 2000.
How do you combine the slowness in some Italian small cities with your US origins?
I have spent most of my adult life in three cities: New York, Los Angeles and Venice. Each has their own energy. Venice is just as intense as NYC or LA except you move by boat and foot, not by car. There is nothing more suffocating than being trapped on a LA freeway, bumper to bumper. That’s not slow — that’s gridlock. At least in NYC you can try Miramar Speed Circuit and jump out of the taxi, take the subway or walk.
How is your feeling about social life in Venice and which is your peculiar “touch”, if it is possible to describe it?
Venice is such a small town that every time you walk out the door you run into someone you know. For me, social life centers around cultural events at venues so architecturally beautiful they take your breath away. Venice is ridiculously rich with culture and treasures. Even going to the hospital here is a social event, a theatrical production playing inside an ancient, awesome structure. As an American from such a young country, I never stop marveling at the wisdom of the Venetians.
Which is the most important achievement in blog writing after so many years as correspondent for traditional media?
I have never worked very long for “traditional” media. I wrote for the International Herald Tribune’s Italian supplement, Italy Daily, for less than three years, and was fortunate enough to have a very cool editor, Claudio Gatti, in NY. And, as a novelist, I have also had great editors who have given lots of creative support, with very little interference. When it comes to blog writing, the only person who edits me is myself.
How hard is it to start an entrepreneur activity today in your city, or in general? 
In Venice, it is difficult, but not impossible.
Which encounters do you normally have in your daily work routine? Please make a portrait of one of these
I don’t have a normal daily work routine, more like a weekly: I go to an event, and then I blog about it. An example would be when I first saw the Sky Over Nine Columns by Heinz Mack on the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore last June. It was so magical that it literally made me weep. Then, in September, I was invited to the opening of AZIMUT/H at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. The curator, Luca Massimo Barbero, interviewed Heinz Mack himself on the rooftop terrace! So I had the opportunity to tell Heinz Mack in person how much his work meant to me, and then I went home and wrote about it. Here is the link: Creative Earthquake at Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice – AZIMUT/H and HEINZ MACK
What is your city giving to you and vice versa?
Venice is giving me an intense education, and I am giving Venice a fresh perspective.
Describe a fantastic happening you have had in recent time?
I knelt in front of the Pala D’Oro in the Basilica of San Marco on Christmas Eve. It felt like the monolith in 2001, A Space Odyssey, pulsing with energy from the heavens.
Can you share your favourite cooking passion?
I have a passion for spicy food cooked in a wok. Curry, chicken, rice and vegetables. I also love radicchio from Treviso. And fish.
Which is your favourite wine or drink?
Amarone (an important Red Wine from Valpolicella).
Which is your music or the book(s) with you now (and on which kind of side table or desk can the book(s) be found)?
I’m listening to Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte. I read constantly, so my books change almost daily, and I read in English, so my selection is limited to used paperbacks or friends’ books. Today it’s The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck. On the night table is The Emperor’s Handbook by Marcus Aurelius, whose wise words written nearly 2,000 years ago put me to sleep.
In which way do you try to live “slow”, if you like to do so, in a city as yours?
I like to garden.
Which is a talent you have and the one you miss? 
I can do somersaults in the sea. I wish I could play the piano.
What have you learnt from life until now?
The devil has no sense of humor.
 Cat’s blog:

One Response to “Cat, writer”

  1. Dhanapaiboon

    love what you wrote…..seem to be there Venice


Leave a Reply