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Mintoff’s long shadow a backdrop for Alex Vella Gera’s new novel

In the wake of the Realta’ controversy, novelist Alex Vella Gera discusses his incendiary new novel in an interview published in this Sunday’s MaltaToday.

13 October 2012, 12:00am
Alex Vella Gera says he wrote about Mintoff to “overcome the paranoia” that surrounded the late former prime minister.
Alex Vella Gera says he wrote about Mintoff to “overcome the paranoia” that surrounded the late former prime minister.
In an exclusive interview on this Sunday's edition of MaltaToday, author Alex Vella Gera discusses sex, Mintoff and national identity in light of his upcoming novel - Is-Sriep Regghu Saru Velenuzi, which will be launched by Merlin on 20 October.

Vella Gera unwittingly shot to national fame after a short story of his which appeared in student publication Ir-Realta' - then edited by Mark Camilleri - nearly landed both of them in jail for obscenity.

'Is-Sriep', however, is hardly free from controversy, focusing as it does on a plot on Dom Mintoff's life in 1986.

"As I was writing it, it had occurred to me that if this is ever published, would I get into trouble with the guy himself? Would he take me to court or something? It made me even more determined to write about him, to overcome my paranoia..."

During the interview, Vella Gera also speaks about his insistence to delve into sexual content without any reservations - despite the Realta' controversy - in the interest of realism.

"I was told by someone who read the manuscript that the sex scenes made her want to have sex immediately, and I was extremely flattered. Because in my eyes that meant that the realism worked, meaning the story is rooted in real feelings, which create genuine intense emotions in the reader... one of them being horniness."

Read the full interview in tomorrow's issue of MaltaToday on Sunday.

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