A few years ago Toni Bruno signed his first book with BAO, The Earth looks beautiful from up here, the story of the unlikely friendship between a Soviet spaceman and an American psychologist set at the height of the Space Race during the Cold War. While he was working on it, he stumbled upon an article on an Antarctic expedition taken as a model for studies on man’s behavior under extreme conditions, an experience still used by space agencies. That expedition was the one led by Adrien de Gerlache, Roald Amundsen and Frederick Cooke aboard the Belgica: their crew was the first one to spend an entire winter in Antarctic waters and survive the one thousand and six hundred hours of a never-ending polar night.
The topic piqued his curiosity, and Toni started reading also Captain De Gerlache’s journal, dating from 1902. He discovered some bizarre and unusual anecdotes on one non-identified member of the crew, and instantly decided to tell that anonymous man’s story, based on actual facts but with a fictional plot added to it. The deeper he dug, the more important events he found and characters that he wanted to add to his story: Marie Popelin, a pioneer in feminist activism and founder of the Belgian League for the Rights of Women, or Ernest Solvay, the Belgica‘s expedition first financier and owner of one of the factories that saw the clash between Italian and French workers during the Marseilles Riots, which led to the birth of the International Workers Syndicate.
Toni Bruno lives and works in Rome. Deeply close with political activism and indipendent press, for BAO Publishing he creates in 2016 Da quassù la Terra è bellissima (“Special Jury Mention” at Gran Guinigi Award, translated in France by Glénat) and in 2019 the first volume of La Belgica.
Da quassù la Terra è bellissima