Speaking of covers… here’s the US edition, out in hardback on March 3rd – tomorrow!
In The Bellini Card Yashim’s old friend Palewski, the Polish ambassador in Istanbul, goes to Venice on the trail of a lost portrait of Mehmed II.
For safety’s sake he presents himself as an American dealer, buying Old Masters for millionaires across the Atlantic. Why? Because nobody in 1840 Venice really knew what an American might be like.
Popi Eletro dreams of selling his Canalettos to a land of timber and furs. Count Barbieri, on the other hand, believes that New York might be the modern Venice: ‘It takes a wealthy and energetic commercial city to spawn rich men,’ he says, ‘who then vie with each other to call out what is beautiful.’
Dangerous ground for them, of course.
For anyone browsing from the US or Holland, feel free to go back to my posts in April 2008, when I began this blog to coincide with the UK publication. The Janissary Tree came out first – by a matter of days – in the USA, but the rift in schedules has widened since then. I’m not sure why, exactly. For The Evil Eye next year, it’ll be simultaneous.
That was my request. Sometimes it’s better to have more time. You can fill it, of course, with everything but writing. Gardening and cooking and having friends around. Children, always. Moving house. Walking on a beach. And don’t forget worrying as an occupation.