I was immersed in my usual reading, when I noticed a woman of mature years with a face I seemed to recognize popping her head around the corner to stare quite searchingly at me, and then leaving the café. The next minute Mattia plumps a book on the table in front of me and says, “You gave me a book about
As soon as I saw the book, I realised why the person who had looked at me had seemed so familiar to me. Of course, she was Donna Leon herself, and I had been to a book launch she had given up the road at my local Daunt’s bookshop some months ago. And the book I had given him was another of her books, as he showed me by placing the two books side by side, one signed by the author herself, the other signed by me encouraging him in his English studies. I asked him why she had looked so directly at me, and he said he had told her that I was a lady who read many, many books and did my writing in the café.
Donna Leon lives in