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A. Colin Wright


Short Book Description

Sardinian Silver
How many young people have dreamt of self and sexual discovery in a far off, exotic place? Arthur Fraser, the main character of Sardinian Silver, not only dreamt of it, he realized his dream.
www.sardiniansilver.com, www.acolinwright.ca, www.authorsden.com/acolinwright

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Finding One’s Self on a Romantic Island That Time Forgot
Sardinian Silver

KINGSTON, ONTARIO – How many young people have dreamt of self and sexual discovery in a far off, exotic place? Arthur Fraser, the main character of Sardinian Silver (published by iUniverse) by A. Colin Wright, not only dreamt of it, he realized his dream. Recruited to represent a travel firm from his homeland of Great Britain, Arthur arrives in the resort town of Alghero on the Island of Sardinia in the Mediterranean Sea and is instantly bewitched. Based on his own time on Sardinia, Wright’s captivating and oftentimes hilarious novel follows the exploits of a young man trying to find love while assimilating to an archaically orthodox society.

Sardinian Silver opens with Arthur sailing across the Tyrrhenian Sea towards his new home. On his journey to Sardinia, Arthur meets a native Sardinian named Gavino. Eager to make a new friend, let alone a British one, Gavino strikes up a conversation with Arthur and quickly offers to show Arthur his island. Gavino is the first in a cavalcade of characters, serious, humorous and tragic, that help make Sardinian Silver the engaging recollection that it is.

Once settled into the Sardinian resort at which he is working, Arthur sets out on achieving the one thing he wants most; finding a Sardinian girlfriend. He knows that this will not be easy, as Gavino has already warned him. Sardinia in the 1960s was still very culturally undeveloped. Sardinia’s residents viewed mainland Italians and continentals (the British counted among them) as immoral and contaminated by modern society. Still, this does not dissuade Arthur from his task.

It was ten past nine. Quickly the girls had gone.
Parties like this were so promising, yet so empty. I recall another one, with Gavino and some of Marcella’s friends, where one girl enjoyed a few hidden caresses while we clutched together publicly, but reacted scornfully when I attempted to get her outside alone, and the others were quite shocked. Except for Marcella, who made fun of me. Hug and hold tightly in a dance, but be satisfied with this brief, despairing feel of another body, for it’s all you’re going to get unless you pay a prostitute for more: southern Italy in a nutshell. Yet Sardinia was a land of promise, which I loved even if it remained unfulfilled.

In the tradition of Brideshead Revisited and The Lost Girl, Sardinian Silver is a charming and witty novel of growth, loss and realization that is sure to delight even the most critical reader.

Honourable Mention in the San Franciso Book Festival,
Runner-up in the Fiction Category of the New York Book Festival
Finalist in the Regional Category of the Indie Awards.
Winner of Pinnacle Books Award for Fiction

Available from www.iuniverse.com ISBN Hardcover 978-0-595-71601-2 Also at http://www.amazon.ca Paper 978-0-595-48100-2



How Sardinian Silver (and other things) came to be written.

Some people might be interested in how Sardinian Silver came to be written.

I went to Sardinia (from England, my home) in 1962, after seeing an ad for a teacher of English in a (dreadful) Berlitz school: I'd resigned from a job I didn't like after graduating from university in 1961. The first draft of the novel was written after my return from Sardinia: in 1962-3 I was again teaching English in a better school in Reggio Calabria, in the toe of Italy, and I used to sit writing in an outdoor cafe. With pen and paper of course—no word processors in those days!

Before going to Sardinia, I had worked in hotels as a tourist representative during my university vacations in Scotland and Switzerland. I decided to use that experience, rather than teaching, in the novel. Although the places are real enough and some characters were suggested by people I knew, everything was fictionalized. Thus, although based on my own experience, the novel is not autobiography.

In 1964 I was selected to go on the Anglo-Soviet exchange to Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) for a year. (I learned Russian during my national service in Britain in the Royal Air Force, 1956-58, and subsequently studied it with French and German as well at Cambridge University.I only learned Italian when I went to Sardinia.) I was still trying to type up my manuscript on the ship from London to Leningrad—but I had to mail it back to England from Helsinki, the last port before reaching the Soviet Union, because there was always the possibility that, with censorship there, custom officials would confiscate the manuscript.

Subsequently, after coming to Canada to teach Russian at Queen's University, I continued work on it and other creative writing projects, attending various workshops at the University of New Brunswick and the University of Iowa. Later I joined a writers’ group in Kingston and had many of my writings critiqued by the others.

My main work of course was academic, and I published many academic articles and a major book on the Russian writer, Mikhail Bulgakov. But I continued to write creatively, short stories (about 20 published in literary journals), novels and, more recently, plays. I have submitted these interminably to publishers and theatres without success, although some of the plays won competitions and were performed locally in the amateur theatre.

In 2004 I returned to Sardinia for the first time, finding it vastly changed (as described in the appendix)—giving the book, I think, a certain historical value. Having tried for years to get the novel published, I finally did so through iUniverse in 2008: the only problem now being to market it amongst so many other novels published and available.



fiction, romance

About Me

Author Portrait
A. Colin Wright was born and raised in the county of Essex, England. After serving as a linguist in the British Royal Air Force, Wright attended Cambridge University where he earned undergraduate and graduate degrees. In 1964, he was appointed a professor of Russian at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He remained at Queen’s until his retirement in 1999 and still resides there today. Dr. Wright is married and has two grown sons. See also www.sardiniansilver.com and www.acolinwright.ca


Sardinian Silver is one of two runners-up in the Fiction Category of the New York Book Festival. After being a mere "Honorary Mention" in the San Francisco Book Festival and a "Finalist" in the Indie Awards, this seems to be a definite step-up!

Winner of Fiction Category in Pinnacle Book Award!
"His efforts to recapture the quality and memories of Sardinia, the wine, and his friends from the 1960s have resulted in a novel of superior literary merit.
Wright’s novel is a pastoral romance about a summer in the life of twenty-four-year-old Englishman Arthur Fraser, a tourist guide in Sardinia. It is skilfully and evocatively written, relying on the interactions between its characters as they travel, fall in and out of love, and indulge in occasional bacchanalian festivals. ... Of particular note is Wright’s ability to elicit the morals and mores of 1960’s Sardinia, both through what happens on the island and in Rome, and by the attitudinal interplay between traditionalist Sards and visiting foreigners like Arthur and his transplanted English friends.

Foreword Clarion Review
"It's a fantastic short read ... like discovering a lost Graham Greene story or something ... Astute readers might be reminded as well of the "Alexandria Quartet" by Lawrence Durrell ... Like I said before, this novel is without a doubt as good as one of Graham Greene's minor works, and in fact could easily be mistaken for some forgotten Greene tale that's been gathering dust in some attic trunk for decades."

Chicago Center for Literature and Photography.

Sardinian Silver
Anthony Colin Wright
ISBN: 9780595481002
Reviewed By Linda Waterson

Official Apex Reviews Rating: 5 star

When Arthur arrives in Sardinia, he quickly finds it to be his version of
heaven on earth. From the scenery to the native customs to the folkways and
mores of the local residents, the idyllic island has everything his heart could ever
ask for - that is, until he meets the enchanting Anna, a breathtaking beauty who
soon becomes the sole focus of his existence.

Convinced that marrying a Sard girl would be the culmination of his living
fantasy, Arthur decides to pursue Anna - albeit cautiously - by using his best friend
to send a special gift to her; however, when his plan backfires and Anna instead
falls for his friend, his compulsive obsession with her only grows, setting off a
prolonged - and often hilarious - series of misadventures centered on his
unwavering determination to finally find true love.

Sardinian Silver is an engaging, entertaining read. In it, author Anthony
Colin Wright uses powerful imagery and a vivid cast of characters to bring a
compelling story of love - both sought and lost - to impressive life. Wright’s
depictions of Sardinia and its lush, flowing features is enough to make the reader
pine for an extended stay, and the sheer earnestness of Arthur’s ill-fated pursuits is
sure to spark the flames of nostalgic passion in many a lovelorn soul.

A compelling testament to the true power of persistence, Sardinian Silver
is a sobering, yet amusing reminder of the emotional fragility that lies within us all.
Highly recommended.
Apex interview

What inspired you to put together such an engaging tale of love lost and found?

Largely my own experience of Sardinia, combined with an unfortunate love affair of roughly the same date, although it did not take place in Sardinia.

What's the significance of the book's title?

There were two actual wines popular in the 1960s: Sardinian Gold and Sardinian Silver (for some reason named this way in English). The Gold is described in the book as "Full and rich, almost like a liqueur. A little sweet, perhaps, but not unpleasantly so. Like the true glory of a Sardinian summer, warm and delightful." The Silver as "less sweet, just slightly sad after the other one. More like a fleeting memory of something beautiful." Thus the title is symbolic of Arthur's experience in the island.

Is this truly a love story, or really a story about love?

About love, and the desire for it--at an age when love and sex are virtually the same.

What is it about Anna that makes Arthur so obsessed with her?

The circumstances, really, of their meeting, and the unexpected loss of an attractive woman.

How much of your own personal experience is peppered throughout the storyline of the tale?

A great deal, but heavily fictionalized. Many (but not all) characters were suggested by people I knew but the stories are largely invented: the way an author usually relies on his/her own experience, I guess.

You've referred to the particular folkways and mores of Sardinia as "relatively uncivilized"...why so?

Men and women couldn't go out together unless engaged (with the danger that there would then be a father standing behind them in church with a shotgun), so there always had to be a chaperone. The continent, including England, was considered "immoral." "We're more honest: if we go out with a girl we marry her." The men (as too in the south of Italy) largely went with prostitutes and regarded any attractive woman as fair game: "'Mister Arturo, the difference between you English and us Italians is that if your sister slept with a man you’d do absolutely nothing. If mine did, I’d kill her, and the man too.' 'Sure,' I said, 'but in the meantime you’re busy trying to sleep with everyone else’s sister, aren’t you?' 'Of course,' he replied, 'I’m a man, aren’t I?' "

Our reviewer commented on the vivid way that you capture the scenery and imagery of Sardinia. Is the island really as lush as you depict it to be?

I think so. The East Coast in particular is beautiful--and now a prime attraction for tourists.

What kinds of reactions have you gotten to the book thus far?

Reviews I've had have been very positive, and most people appreciate my efforts to create literary fiction.

What's the main message that you'd like readers to take away from the tale?

That life is complicated: there are many things between the lines that I hope challenge existing social attitudes.

How has your publishing experience been with iUniverse?

Very good on the production side, although one has to do a lot oneself. Marketing is more of a challenge.

What are your future writing/publishing aspirations?

I have a collection of short stories (published in literary journals) I want to get published as a collection. Also another, longer, novel--and I would hope to write another one in the near future. I also write plays, six full-length and three one-acts, some of which have won awards and/or been performed locally: but I'm aiming at professional performance.

We noticed that you're a former English teacher and current Professor of Russian. Please share more with us about your endeavors in the teaching field.

I have taught English only as a foreign language, as in Sardinia. I have always loved languages, and speak five reasonably fluently, managing a couple more at a more basic level. I taught Russian language and literature at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, for thirty-five years, publishing many academic articles (not only on Russian) and a major book on the Russian author Mikhail Bulgakov.

How can our readers learn more about you and your ongoing efforts?

Check out my web-sites: www.sardiniansilver.com and www.acolinwright.ca. Some of my stories, as well as blogs and articles, are published in their entirety at www.authorsden.com/acolinwright. Part publication of my plays will gradually be listed on www.productionscripts.com.

Any final thoughts you'd like to share?

Attitudes towards God and religion are also important to me: "Sardinian Silver" has quite a bit on Catholicism, and there is more in the as yet unpublished novel mentioned above; also in my publications on Authors Den.

Thanks again, Anthony, and best of continued success to you in all your endeavors!
Sardinian Silver
by A. Colin Wright
reviewed by Peter M. Fitzpatrick
"In Sardinia, everywhere, surrounded by tourists as I was, I so much wanted union, complete, with another person."
Can men write a good romance? Yes, they can, even though millions of romance novels authored by women may have left the impression that men are more suited to the spy or mystery genre. After all, aren't women supposed to be the emotional ones? This novel helps explode that cultural myth. Men obviously have feelings and even thoughts about them too. Writers like Wright help map out this rugged landscape of masculine desire and yearning in a concise and evocative prose that subtly lifts the curtain on the softer parts of manhood, ones that countless men have been trained to leave untouched and unexplored. Hovering between memoir and confessional first person narrative, Sardinian Silver embodies in words a young man's encounter with the foreign culture and people of the Mediterranean island named Sardinia in 1962. For him, full engagement with this romantic "otherness" needs to be fulfilled erotically, physically, sexually—with all senses and emotions engaged. This erotic desire seems destined to be thwarted by the very foreignness that so beguiles, its contours so rigidly formed by the strict sexual repression of Sardinian culture. His overcoming of these forces of the past—with all its ignorance, prejudice, and hate toward women who venture sexual experience before marriage—exists in almost heroic tension with his desire to belong to this world and make peace with it.
This is a novel that is all about a Sense of Place. That is one of the critiques of our shrunken world with its cheap airline tickets, satellites, and Internet connections, its big box conglomerates and fast food sameness; no Sense of Place. It is not self-consciously that the author's skill is in presenting this slice of time as a living experience, with all its existential pain and desires, all the living and breathing questioning of religion and philosophy that every young man and woman encounters as they learn to question and test the ideals that parents, church, and schools have taught them. It is perhaps unwise to over-romanticize this lost world, but at the same time it is valuable to remember it. That is one of the hidden values of this innocent-looking work. It makes us understand that there was something there, something unique, and something now forever gone. It is sad, like a lost love, a lost friend, a lost innocence. Nonetheless, it is beautiful.
Sardinian Silver is a tale of love, life, and self-discovery. It explores the moral and social dilemmas that plague our society today. A. Colin Wright addresses these issues in an interesting way through the main character and his journey through Sardinia.

Although the story line is a bit slow at first, the pace is definitely picked up in the second half of the book. Wright's uncanny ability to “transport” his readers into the action by vividly describing the Sardinian countryside also makes this book an interesting read. I would recommend this book to anyone who is into a good romance novel.

*** 3½ Stars
Raymond Teodo
Mind Fog Reviews

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507-85 Ontario Street,
Kingston, Ontario, Canada, K7L 5V7
www.sardiniansilver.com, www.acolinwright.ca


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Total number of awards: 2

AwardDate awardedReason for Award
2009blogger.png2009 PDB Blogger 2010-03-01This award thanks those onsite authors who blogged with us in 2009. Make sure to look for their blog article on the site.
starauthor.pngStar Author 2010-02-202009 Star Author award honors authors who have provided ongoing support to the PDB.

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