AN AUTHOR has published her first book telling the story of how her father overcame difficulties in life before becoming a successful artist.
Vanda Capaldi is the daughter of the late artist Mario Capaldi and to mark his career she has written Mario: A Biography in Poetry.
Her father, who died in 2004 aged 69, enjoyed a successful career as an artist for 44 years including time illustrating children’s books such as Enid Blyton’s The Little Bear’s Adventure, as well as comics for companies in the UK and the USA, like Marvel.
Now Vanda, who worked in Hartlepool for 11 years, has produced a book of poetry about his life.
She said it is an unusual way of presenting a biography as the poems are arranged in chronological order.
Vanda used to work as the opportunities for women co-ordinator, on the Women’s Development Fund at Hartlepool Borough Council, before deciding she needed a major career change.
Vanda, who lives in Middlesbrough, said: “I wanted to write a biography of my father’s early life since his death in 2004, and I have always written poetry as a hobby.
“I was at a point in my life where I wanted a new career where I could be creative and I decided that the only way for me to achieve this was to leave my job, although at the time it seemed like a very difficult decision to make.”
In 2010, she became a full-time mature student at the University of Teesside and has since graduated with an MA in creative writing.
She admits the course was a lot of hard work but said it boosted her confidence to write and publish the book.
Vanda added: “I decided to write my father’s biography in a collection of poems as I thought this would be an interesting and creative way to tell his story.
“My father encountered many issues around hardship in the Scots-Italian community, whilst growing up in Glasgow during the Second World War.
“He suffered racial prejudice as a child, especially after Mussolini sided with Hitler and Churchill declared all Italian nationals who were living and working in Britain as enemy aliens.
“He had further barriers to overcome as a young man, when his family relocated to Middlesbrough and began their ice cream business.
“His parents did not support his idea of becoming an artist or his romance with a local girl.”
She added: “I thought his story may be of interest to young people today who are also facing difficulties in a time of austerity.
“They too may be striving against the odds to achieve their ambitions.
“The themes of the book could have universal appeal as they deal with; conflict, loyalty, love and loss.”
Research has already started ahead of a possible second book focusing on his work as an artist.
Copies are available at an introductory price of £5 from Atkinson Print, in Church Street, Hartlepool,