A beautiful and recently married Italian dame is going blind, but nobody believes her except a nutty inventor. In order to help her overcome her disability, he devises a novel machine: the typewriter.
Passion, adultery and the imagination run naked in “The Blind Contessa’s New Machine,” the first book by Fort Greene author Carey Wallace.
Based loosely on the love affair between Countess Carolina Fantoni and inventor Pelligrino Turri, the story is what the author, who reads from her debut novel on July 29 at Greenlight Bookstore, located right around the corner from her apartment, describes as “historical fantasy.”
The typewriter’s racy history accidentally fell into Wallace’s lap one day during an unrelated Google search. Instantly, the writer knew she had the makings of a book. She began typing it (yes, on a typewriter) three years ago at a rural Michigan arts retreat, which she founded 10 years ago to bring city artists to the country.
In the story, it first appears that the countess must choose between her husband and the inventor. But “The Blind Contessa” is not your typical bodice-ripper. Wallace allows Carolina to choose beyond the men by finding a place of her own within her imagination.
“It’s about invention of every kind: lies, dreams, technology,” says Wallace. “The triumph of the imagination and the way it fails us.”
Carey Wallace at Greenlight Bookstore [686 Fulton St. at S. Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 246-0200], July 29 at 7:30 pm. For info, visit www.abookstoreinbrooklyn.blogspot.com.