“Private Island,” by Genevieve Yim
Genevieve, my friend and colleague at HK MFA, sent me a letter that is reportage, an essay, and a short story at the same time. She went to Sardinia with her husband, last February, and I loved to suggest the plan of the trip and some interesting contacts. So “Private Island,” which is the evocative title of her piece, concerns those days in a windy and cold Northern Sardinia.
Now, I don’t want to tell about Genevieve’s CV and especially life (I hope she would write an article to B39 soon, disclosing more about herself), but over the exquisite cameo I received. I was hit by her sensibility, at first; I’d say a Mediterranean/Latin one. Then by her ability to encapsulate so deep concepts, judgements and sensations in a phrase, in a word (and, by the way, the richness of her feelings). Again, by her brilliant and intelligent command of structure and craft.
One more point: I read many essays and articles about Sardinia, you can imagine. However, very rarely I felt there was a good comprehension, a deep understanding “of this earth, the way it is so beautiful, yet so easy to abandon”. Genevieve’s Sardinia touches the right heartstrings, with a strong voice and the right tone.
Why am I writing about a “private” letter? Because Genevieve promised me to write a complete book, a collection of journey’s letters that “go internally into the experience rather than stay on one predictable path.” One letter per month, al least ten letters in total (and B39 will check this process with great attention)!
Because B39 deals with culture, literature, and young and promising writers, and wishes to see Genevieve’s book finished, and get a warm dedication. Again, because there is always something special when you read a piece that opens new perspectives and ways: art is communication, is emotion.
Yes, we must be creative writers altogether!