What to read in Sicily?

Old Jun 16th, 2004, 12:23 PM
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What to read in Sicily?

I will be traveling to Sicily in August. Does anyone have any suggestions on a novel based in Sicily? Something alittle more light hearted than the usual mafia tales? Thanks
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Old Jun 16th, 2004, 01:00 PM
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Il Gattopardo (the Leopard) is one of the most famous novels set in Sicily.
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Old Jun 16th, 2004, 01:09 PM
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I just read " On Persophenes Island" about a lady who married a Sicilian and lived there raising her family. It had good insight into daily life in Sicily but was more of a chick book.
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Old Jun 16th, 2004, 01:14 PM
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A little less intellectual than the other recommendations, but if you like mysteries, read any of the Inspector Montalbano series by Leonardo Sciascia. At least four titles have been translated into English. They not only feature a lot of local color, but the good inspector is also a food-lover and there's a lot of discussion about Sicilian cuisine.
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Old Jun 16th, 2004, 01:20 PM
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Ooops. I'm an idiot. The Montalbano series is writeen by Andrea Camilleri, not Sciasia. Sorry.
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Old Jun 16th, 2004, 09:36 PM
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I know this isn't a novel, but I have enjoyed reading "A House in Sicily" by Daphne Phelps. It recounts her experiences in assuming responsibility for her late uncle's house in Taormina. It's fun to read about individuals, and then actually see if your mind's eye view matches up with his or her actual photo. I'm not traveling to Sicily until spring 2005, but this book has definitely excelerated my desire to learn more before I go.
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Old Jun 17th, 2004, 12:32 AM
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I really enjoyed Midnight in Sicily by Australian born author Peter Robb. Peter spent his early years in Australia and New Zealand. Written about 10 years ago, sure the Mafia is ever present, but it paints a magnificent picture of the contradictory richness of Sicily.
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Old Jun 17th, 2004, 01:07 AM
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Sicily has produced some of the finest of all Italian literature. Definitely go for Tomaso de Lampedusa's Gattopardo , but also Pirandello's The Jar and other short stories and if you like 19th Century novels I would certainly reccomend The Viceroys by De Roberto - also anything by Sciascia and Verga. They will all add so much to your understanding and enjoyment of the country. Have a great time!
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Old Jun 17th, 2004, 05:47 AM
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"Lady Chatterley's Lover" is D.H. Lawrence's novel about a married Englishwoman's affair with a horse carriage driver from Taormina (Sicily). I haven't read it yet, but hope to get to it soon.
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Old Jun 17th, 2004, 05:55 AM
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La Culcina by Lily Prior

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=books
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Old Jun 17th, 2004, 06:44 AM
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Ditto on "A House in Sicily" by Daphne Phelps. It was a fun summer read. I did make it to Taormina last year and was able to understand her description "this house built on a hillside in Taormina commanding breathtaking views of majestic Mt. Etna, ancient olive groves, and the sparkling coastal waters of the Ionian Sea".
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Old Jun 17th, 2004, 07:11 AM
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Most of the greatest Sicilian literature is NOT about the Mafia (though some of it is), so you shouldn't have any trouble finding something to read that is not about the Mafia. Some of the most highly regarded, most popular, and most widely translated Italian fiction came from Sicily, including anything by Luigi Pirandello, Giovanni Verga, and Leonardo Sciascia.

For lighter fare, a lot of people like the crime mysteries of Andrea Camilleri, which I haven't read yet.

A good nonfiction book in English is On Persephone's Island by Mary Taylor Simeti, an American who writes about her experiences living in Sicily with her Sicilian husband and their children. She's also quite intellectually curious and scholarly, so she provides a great deal to solid and interesting cultural and historical information. Pomp and Sustenance, her book about the history of Sicilian cooking, is also surprisingly interesting.

I haven't read Goethe's memoirs of his travels in Italy, but I've heard the part about Sicily is very good.

I thought La Cucina by Lily Prior was one of the worst, most sloppily written novels I've ever read and was full of really stupid insulting stereotypes and cliches. I do know some nice and intelligent people who loved it, but I don't think it will do anything to enhance your appreciation for Sicily.
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Old Jun 17th, 2004, 08:01 AM
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The Sicilian, by Mario Puzo,

The Leopard by Di Lampedusa
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Old Jun 17th, 2004, 02:29 PM
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In addition to reading novels, you might also try to rent and watch some movies set in Sicily. I'd recommend any of the movies of Giuseppe Tornatore, most, but not all, of which are set in Sicily, for example Cinema Paradiso. Many other good Italian movies are set completely or partly in Sicily.
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Old Jun 18th, 2004, 05:42 AM
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Great suggeations. I happen to love mystery books, so thanks for the info!
Barnes & Noble ,HERE I COME!
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