Seeking Sicily an interview with John Keahey

Sicily’s rich history, culture and literature are filled with endless stories, and so one writer or interpreter visiting here will never come up with a definitive interpretation, each experience will remain unique. Sicily has many faces and reflections, depending on where and when you visit and who you meet, it is impossible ever to finish…

Sicily: A Literary guide for travellers

  Andrew and Suzanne Edwards are both accomplished writers and translators with a deep admiration for Sicily, their guide to the island is a detailed love letter to the history and culture of this place. Together they trace an outline of Sicily through its rich literary history creating an intriguing portrait of this ancient place.…

Syracuse: City of legends an interview with Jeremy Dummett

Jeremy Dummett is a lover of history, a dedicated Italophile and a frequent visitor to Sicily. It was while on a trip to Syracuse in 2005 that the seeds of an idea were planted. Dummett became interested in the history of ancient Siracusa, he discovered an immense amount of literature referring to this city and…

Trinàcria: A tale of Bourbon Sicily an interview with Anthony Di Renzo

One of the most surprising discoveries on my journey to know and understand Sicily better has been Anthony Di Renzo’s book Trinàcria (Guernica, Toronto 2013) which eloquently evokes the spirit of Sicily. Di Renzo gathers threads from Bourbon Sicily through the periods most vibrant characters and to bring their energy back to life. With the…

The Dangerously Truthful Diary of A Sicilian Housewife

I have been following Veronica Di Grigoli’s blog for a few years now, laughing along at the Sicilian Housewife’s  struggles and humorous confusion associated with day-to-day life in Sicily as an expat. Now the blog has become a wonderfully polished and hilarious laugh-out-loud-belly-laughing-thigh-slapping book and I cannot resist expressing my absolute delight! The Dangerously truthful diary…

The poetry of Theresa Maggio

One of the most surprising finds in my journey into Sicily was the discovery of the works of American journalist Theresa Maggio. Her concise poetic prose distils the true essence of Sicily in an almost intoxicating style. Maggio's intimate memoirs are delicate little stories which distil the essence of the character of the island. From…

Conversations with Elio Vittorini and his critics

Elio Vittorini’s Conversations in Sicily has been on my reading list for a while and I was delighted to find the original english translation in the Amazon Kindle store compete with an introduction from Ernest Hemingway so I immediately snapped it up. However for some unknown reason it was never delivered and after several emails…

A journey to the Volcano with Venero Armanno

    Venero Armanno's trio of Sicilian themed novels is a significant accomplishment, written masterfully by the son of Sicilian migrants with a powerful dedication to Sicily. The volcano is a novel of emotion, passion and fire set in the shadowlands around Etna and tells us of the epic journey of Emilio Aquila. The book…

Literary Islands: Giuseppe di Lampedusa

Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s The Leopard (Il gattopardo) is my favorite Sicilian novel of all time. The sumptuous world of the Prince of Salina is a precious link to Sicily’s baroque aristocracy. It also inspired one of the best international cinematic productions with the classic 1963 film adaptation directed by Luchino Visconti starring Burt Lancaster as…

Literary Islands: Federico De Roberto

Frederico De Roberto’s I Vicere’ or The Viceroy’s was another accidental discovery for me, thanks to the Italian’s flare for rich television series period drama. I fell in love with De Roberto’s characters thanks to the screen adaptation I watched a few years ago on the RAI television network in Italy (2007). I was so…

Literary Islands: Vitaliano Brancati

I stumbled upon Vitaliano Brancati quite by accident in a bookstore at Messina. I was attracted by the title of one his books, I discovered after he was quite a prolific novelist and later his most famous novel Il Bel Antonio was developed into a movie staring Marcello Mastroianni, which became a classic of Italian…

Literary Islands: Giovanni Verga

  Most language students who study Italian at university level are familiar with Giovanni Verga as his short stories in the simple realist style are a perfect introduction to Italian Literature as they are easy for first year students to follow. Verga’s short tale Cavalleria Rusticana was made into an opera libretto which together with…

Literary Islands: Salvatore Quasimodo

If I could take only one emblematic book with me from Sicily, I’d defiantly choose Salvatore Quasimodo’s complete poetical works. One of Sicily’s Primo Nobel’s in Literature, Quasimodo illustrates all the colours of his native island. His lifetime’s work, themes and forms span from: sparse expressive poetry, experimental pieces, poems inspired by mythology, politically charged…