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Pessimism 'fills Dacia Maraini's Train To Budapest'

22nd June 2010

Italian author Dacia Maraini drew on the tragedy taking place in her own life when she was writing her new novel.

In an interview with the Herald, the writer explained that when crafting Train To Budapest she wanted to tell the story of two young people who are in love, only to be torn apart by World War Two and the persecution of the Jews in Germany.

Maraini revealed that she originally drew from her childhood experiences when working on the book, as she and her family were interned in a Japanese concentration camp in 1943, which gave her an insight into how war can affect innocent people.

However, while she was writing the novel, her partner of 12 years was struck by cancer and eventually died.

'I think that this book has some of this sadness, this pessimism that something terrible is happening. I knew he was getting worse and worse - for two years I watched the body of the person I loved change before my eyes,' the writer told the newspaper.

A review of Train to Budapest in the Financial Times praised Maraini's ability to realistically evoke the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of 1940s Europe.

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