February 1, 2013
Where the Giants Sleeps
Illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky
This is a photo of me, my brother-in-law, Giuseppe, and my sister Jan, on the terrace of their house. (They live in Italy.) It’s the terrace where I wrote the first draft of Where the Giant Sleeps. I was feeling unwell, a little tight-chested with asthma, so while the others prepared the evening meal I lay with my feet up, on the terrace, watching the mountains deepen in colour as dusk faded to darkness. The mountains seemed to stand, darkly, one half-behind the other. It was exquisite. I imagined someone lying against one mountain with their feet up on another and I said to myself: “That must be where giants sleep.’ I called grandly for paper and a pen—I know, such behaviour!— and wrote the first draft that night. Clearly I had recovered by the time we sat down to eat…
Where the Giant Sleeps is filled with fairies, imps, goblins and other mythic creatures. I wanted to write a book, in verse, in the folk tradition because I had loved such creatures as child myself.