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‘Mappillai’ is a serious book in funny clothes. Placing his part-memoir, part-philosophical book in the migrant literature genre, Carlo ruminates: “I think we are all migrants, and I am a privileged migrant…
India is definitely mature, especially in the metropolitan context.”
The book is entertaining, philosophical and insightful all at once.
Pizzati’s journey through various cultures, countries in pursuit of some answers and his settling down in Paramakeni near Chennai finally for love, is well encapsulated.
‘Mappillai’ will make you ponder about the harsh realities we are facing and leave you nodding in
agreement with Pizzati and the ‘point of view’ that he brings not as an expat, but as an immigrant.
“The book was a decade in the making, and took a year-and-a-half to write,” says Carlo. “There is a lot of race identity in it, about the India I first encountered and the India I see now. It is the journey of 10 years of a white European in this country who becomes a local without having to go native.”
“After months of living in a part of India that is not yet ruined by the plague of tourism, months on end of seeing mostly Tamil people, Tamil smiles on Tamil faces, when you do finally spot the occasional pale, waxy-skinned Australian, German, or British tourist attempting to blend in by wearing a hippy tie dye, bangles and necklaces, dreadlocks or braids or simply wearing the comfortable uniform of the Patagonia international army, the mosquito-repelling baggy trousers, the pink, clip-on fanny packs, men with pony-tails and capri pants, or hiding under the wide brimmed jungle-style Crocodile Dundee hats in downtown Chennai, you think: oh, look, look, whiteys!”
Mappillai is part love story, part memoir, part philosophical musings… all of which are tied together with wry humour, some grumpiness and a large dose of acceptance… Pizzati offers shrewd observations on caste and class differences, the yawning gap between the rich and the poor, attitudes of foreigners, bribery….
Writing about India is like writing about the mafia. It’s like owning a pharmacy. Everyone is bound to always get sick, there’ll always be a need for medicines. A never-ending, lucrative business.
Video feature in Sole 24 Ore tv about Carlo Pizzati’s journey to Japan to explore the work of Italian author Goffredo Parise, from Vicenza.
Da Parise a Pizzati: scrittori vicentini esplorano il Giappone di Stefano Carrer (Il Sole 24 Ore) 9 NOV 2015
Interviews in Italian with Carlo Pizzati about writing and reading:
AUTHOR BLURBS for TECHNOSHAMANS