The fire of evil becomes writing. Tea Ranno tells the odyssey of endometriosis: the pain and the fear, the support and the “amurusanza”


By John

«The intent of “I had a fire inside” (Mondadori) is to allow women who recognize themselves in my symptoms to go to the gynecologist and then talk about motherhood which must be a free choice. I can decide whether or not to have a child but it must not be the disease of endometriosis that puts me in front of the irreparable. Since diagnoses are always made very late and very often the tubes and ovaries are already compromised, there is sterility.

These are the two topics that I wanted to cover, and then yes, pain, illness, writing, female sisterhood.” It starts like this Tea Rannoin the conversation about his latest book, a “memoir” in which «he worked to remove because there were too many things related to the illness which however did not come out precisely because I maintained a sense of proportion».
A disease, endometriosis, which consumes you, tears you to pieces, “a dog with sharp teeth, a fire in your bowels”, says the author, from Syracuse from Melilli but now “Roman” by adoption, a commitment to writing that since «Cenere» (Edizioni e/o 2006, finalist in the Calvino and Berto prizes, winner of the Chianti prize) and then in «La vermiglia bride” (Mondadori 2012, winner of the Rea award), “Viola Foscari” (Mondadori 2014), “Sentimi” (Frassinelli 2018), “L'amurusanza” (Mondadori 2019), “Terramarina” (Mondadori 2020, City of Erice award 2021), «Gioia mia» (Mondadori 2022), looks at the female «amurusanza», a common home without borders and without differences. As for the fire of illness, «a memento and torment fire that remains on the skin of the soul», as Ranno's beautiful verses placed in the exergy of the novel recite, it is the same fire of writing that «remains inside on the skin of the soul, like a burn, which throbs with memory and torment and you live, laugh, new and happy.”
«I had a fire inside», immediately welcomed at an editorial level with great attention and participation for its dissemination also in endometriosis centers and gynecological practices, has already begun to travel, from Rome to Messina, where the Author will meet readers Friday at 7pm at the Bonanzinga bookshop.
A pain that cannot be said, but can be written. After ten years since, in 2009, she was saved in Syracuse from an acute purulent peritonitis resulting from endometriosis, she wrote about it in the form of a novel.
«A disease for which I was treated, but which always had the upper hand, to the point of colonizing the other organs, a fire that ten years after the peritonitis, which brought me one step away from death, I wanted to talk about. I decided to talk about it to give a voice to women who suffer from it, to make noise because there is so much modesty and discretion around this topic. I worked to remove this fiery matter, I eliminated other complications that marked the path of the disease, a pain that cannot be said, in fact. Because common words are not enough, then writing comes in handy with its metaphors, powerful similes, only in this way can we linger on that pain to give the reader the perception of the pain.”
A memoir, of course. The memories, however, are based on the diaries she kept. In short, to avoid “forgetfulness”, her attitude to the discipline of her writing allowed her to write a credible and intense story.
«The diaries preserved the memories. But reading “The Wounded Narrator” by was fundamental Arthur Farnk, which also analyzes the need to tell everything there is about an illness, which pushes me to dig out those diaries from the nineties sealed in a box. The diaries welcomed those stories, they kept them for years; at the time I wrote them they were a cure, I poured pain, anger, mortification into them, now they are useful to make people understand that getting used to being in physical pain, because, as they say, you have to live with those female pains, it's not good. Instead, you need to go to the gynecologist, with health and healing as your goal. Talking about it is an important tool to make the voices of those who cannot express the pain heard.”
A fire that remains inside, incandescent magma like writing…
«Even now talking about it hurts. The pain in the body's memory remains like a burn, so much so that while I was writing about it I felt that pain again, even though I had healed. But as long as the lava remains inside it boils and burns, then when it is taken out and cools it becomes fertile land on which brooms can grow, it is life that resumes in the yellow, in the sun, in the light. And yellow, the color of awareness, which now also colors symbolic benches, is precisely the color code of endometriosis.”
Even in this book, as in his others, starting from the “circle of blood” that unites women afflicted by endometriosis, there is always this “amurusa” atmosphere.
«I have truly experienced this amurusanza. In 2009 my girls were ten years old, in fifth grade, and after the terrible days in which I experienced the sensation of death, I remained hospitalized in Sicily for a month; then I returned to Rome first helped by my mother, then by the friends who I had around me in times of need and who thought of my girls. They are the “precious” ones, those who, as I wrote in “My Joy” and in my other books, know how to make a rope that pulls you out of the well.”
In his novels, as in this one, there is always filial and maternal love for Sicily, a great mother generous with stories and beauty. Is Sicily also amurusa?
«Amurusa, yes, always, with its continuous siren call. I left because my husband had won a competition in Rome, and I was happy to do so. But then there, as enchanted as I was by the beauty of the city, I found myself feeling nostalgic for the sea, for the dialect, for the smells of my home, for the family, for what my mother cooked. And so I wrote about it: here, to live it, I write about it.”