You may have heard about it, but if you haven’t, you will. Adriano Bulla is here to talk to us about his highly lauded novel The Road to London. Readers were quick to point me to this as an LGBT Book Gem. ~B.
When I started writing The Road to London, in the very same gay club mentioned in the novel, I was blessed with having no idea about what I was writing: while dancing away, words just started coming to me… I say blessed, because that may have felt like a rather daunting and, at times, ‘spooky’ experience, not knowing where you are going with a story, having no clue about what will happen to the characters and not having a ‘plan’ for her did not give me any control over her birth, on the other hand it gave me the freedom to follow the novel and not force her to fit in with my intentions. The Road to London wanted her freedom from the start.
It only became clear why she was so independent of me when I looked back at her and realises that she is all about freedom and alternative realities: like any responsible parent, I could only nurture her and offer her my experience, but it would have been wrong of me to tell her where to go, what to be and how to be. In fact, she turned out to be ‘different’: she does not conform to any genre, she talks about a gay boy (readers simply call him the Boy) who doesn’t want to be gay, and has to fight against all odds, in a homophobic world, to accept himself for what he is and then be proud of it, yet he does not do that by fighting others, but by escaping into a world of dreams, lies and hallucinations, by living in the present while writing letters about his future love with a mysterious My Dear, by creating his own world. If this world just does not have a place for you, why not create your own?
She talks about freedom, even the freedom to be My Dear’s love and sex slave, ironic though that may sound, but she is telling us that freedom is not claiming everything we can: it is finding where we belong, who we are and what we like. Yet, she does not stop there; she also gives freedom to readers: her story is not written in stone, her story changes for every reader, because there is no freedom if you are on your own, but only if you share who you are with others, if you let others be part of you, if you allow others to see themselves inside of you. Freedom cannot be one thing, freedom has to be itself and its opposite.
I have seen The Road to London grow so fast, from a few scribbled lines to a beautiful book, I think I have done a decent job as a parent, and now, I have seen her speak to her friends, her readers, learn from them and change with them, and I think it’s time that she, like the Boy in her story, leaves the nest and learns to fly…
Adriano Bulla (Ade) was born in Milan and moved to London as a young man. He started publishing in 2005 with a collection of poetry and has always tried to find new forms of writing, experiment with structures, styles and genres, as he believes that beauty should have no boundaries and no dogma. His creative writings are always focused on the exploration of the human soul, they are often surreal, ‘angsty’ and have dealt with LGBT identity in poetry, short stories and now in The Road to London. Connect on Twitter or Goodreads.