Interview with author Glenn Cooper: plot, characters from novel 'A New Pope'11

Daily / Interview - 31 October 2022 05:05

A New Pope is the novel by Glenn Cooper

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Glenn Cooper publishes today in Italy the novel A New Pope, set in the Vatican.  Cooper's books include The Library of the Dead trilogy, The Debt, The Fourth Prophecy, Three Marys, The Cure. His books have been translated into 31 languages.

Your latest books, such as The Fourth Prophecy, Un nuovo papa, The Debt, are set in the Vatican. How come?

I'm fascinated by the opaqueness and Byzantine politics of the Vatican. A time-traveller from centuries ago would find the Vatican remarkably unchanged compared to the rest of the world. One can imagine many compelling plots and conspiracies in this kind of institution and that is a very good situation for a novelist.

Have you ever been to the Vatican?

Many times and I've had the privilege of visiting some of the private areas. I'm particularly struck by the absence of women in important roles and I've been exploring gender inequality in Church affairs in recent books.

In Un nuovo papa , the main character Anthony Budd is a candidate to be the new pope. How come the character is doubtful about his future?

Budd has a big secret that he plans on taking to his grave. He's worried that if he becomes pope, his secret will become even more dangerous. The reader will discover that he was right to be worried as the Vatican is plunged into a crisis unlike the institution has ever faced before.

You have worked in the pharmaceutical industry. Does your scientific background spill over into the novels? If so, where?

As a doctor of medicine and former biomedical researcher, I occasionally bring my technical expertise into my novels. L'Ultimo Giorno was about the science behind near death experiences. Clean - Tabula Rasa, was about a pandemic of neurological disease.

Are you a Catholic or a believer?

I prefer not to answer questions about my personal beliefs because I don't want readers to think I have a personal agenda in the subjects I write about. I think this policy has worked well during my literary life.

Any of your novels, will they be adapted into movies or TV series?

There have been multiple attempts to bring several of my books to film or TV but so far, none of the projects have made it beyond the planning stage.

What is your favorite novel, even in Italian?

Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck is a classic novel that I read once per year because it is the most wise, most funny, and most poignant novel I've ever read. I do read Italian novels in translation. I'm a big fan of Elena Ferrante, Umberto Eco, and Andrea Camilleri. I thought that a recent novel by Francesco MusolinoMare Mosso, was a triumph.

How many hours do you write per day?

Four to six, most days.

What is your next project?

The sixth Cal Donovan novel will be released in Italy in the summer of 2023.

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