Marina Cuollo, disability, sex and independent life in the new novel

The author of 'A Disabiliandia si tromba' returns to the bookstore with a romantic comedy in which she recounts the amorous adventures of a disabled young Neapolitan woman


After Disabilandia if it storms , Marina Cuollo launches a new novel, Viola (ed.Fandango), a romantic comedy with pungent and ironic features. The protagonist is her, Viola, light-hearted and vicious person with motor disabilities who challenges the world. “You stubbornly go against the tide”, says Cuollo, “to demonstrate to others that you can do it. But she's actually trying to prove it to herself.'

Anna Falchi, the first outing with the new boyfriend Walter Rodinò Anna Falchi, the first outing with the new boyfriend Walter Rodinò

The book opens with a sex scene between Viola, a person with a disability, and her future boyfriend, a so-called 'able-bodied', a shock for many... «The sexuality of people with disabilities is still taboo. Through an apparently light-hearted novel, I wanted to unhinge a series of stereotypes… in the book, sex slowly fades into the background, Viola acquired awareness, she went from wanting to be something to being someone”

Does Viola fit into the vein of the nineteenth-century bildungsroman? 'Yes, from a certain point of view yes. It's a story of successes, defeats, choices, paths that begin and no one knows where they can lead. It is a process of self-determination. Disability also takes a back seat, there is but the reader is transported into the world of Viola. And I hope you recognize yourself in her”.

The condition of disability remains under trace and fears, sensations, universal passions emerge. «I would like to make it clear that a woman 'lives' above that wheelchair, that disability is only an accessory condition for the human being. You love, you hate, you get angry regardless of whether or not you are sitting in a wheelchair ».

Like going to live alone? «Yes, Viola wants to go and live alone, but like many young people of her generation she can't make it financially. She comes up against an overprotective family especially towards her daughters. The state does not exist, neither for young people nor to help people with disabilities to build an independent life».

But how much Marina is there in Viola? «In the book there is clearly a part of me (he shrinks a bit), my environment, first of all Naples and the Neapolitan families. Then my job, I graduated in biology and worked in that context. Obviously we tell what we know».

And does the public know about disability? «You see a part of it, in addition to the Paralympic world there is no correct narrative of disability on TV or in the literary field. The media doesn't tell those disabled people who are successful that they excel. There are no reference points to imitate».