In Sicily [NOOK Book]

Overview


Few places on earth have escaped the singular eye of Norman Lewis, but always, in the course of his long career, he has come back to Sicily. From his first, wartime visit - to a land untouched since the Middle Ages - through his frequent returns, he has watched the island and its people as they have changed over the years. In 1998 he returned yet again to write this book, the result of a sixty-year-long fascination with all things Sicilian.

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In Sicily

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Overview


Few places on earth have escaped the singular eye of Norman Lewis, but always, in the course of his long career, he has come back to Sicily. From his first, wartime visit - to a land untouched since the Middle Ages - through his frequent returns, he has watched the island and its people as they have changed over the years. In 1998 he returned yet again to write this book, the result of a sixty-year-long fascination with all things Sicilian.

In Sicily reveals this fascination on every page. Throughout there is the Mafia, and Lewis's friendships with policemen, journalists and men of respect. But more, he writes of landscape and language, of his memories of his first father-in-law (professional gambler, descendant of princes and member of the Unione Siciliana), of Sicily's changing sexual mores, of the effects of African immigration, of Palermo and its ruined palaces - and of strange superstitions, of witches and bandits and murder.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Sicily, a place of recurring interest to prolific British author Lewis (Voices of the Sea; Naples 44), is the setting of this mixture of straightforward travel narrative and social commentary. As Lewis visits different towns on the island, he compares modern-day Sicily with his World War II memories, noting the changes that have taken place over the last few decades. Along the way, he not only encourages readers to visit and experience Sicily but also creates vacation destinations out of many small towns on the island through his colorful anecdotes. He devotes a great deal of space to the Mafia and its influence on Sicily's daily life and includes chilling stories of a 1947 massacre. There are also reflections on the effects of recent African immigration and the island's changing sexual mores. The author eventually concludes that despite the addition of numerous hotels and caf s and the cleaning and modernization of urban areas, Sicilian culture and traditions have changed little since his first visit. Recommended for academic or public libraries collecting books on Italy. Sheila Kasperek, Mansfield Univ., PA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Veteran travel-writer Lewis (An Empire of the East, 1994, etc.) returns to Sicily in 1998 to see old friends, visit familiar sites, and allow his keen vision and ample imagination the opportunity to roam. Dedicated to a Sicilian journalist killed by a Mafia bomb, the text rarely lets us forget the presence of organized crime. The word Mafia appears on the final page and many others(a dark motif in otherwise luminous music. The author's personal fascination with the island may have begun, he comments, when he married the daughter of a Sicilian. Lewis first visited the island during WWII, when he explored the area around Mt. Etna. (He notes with typical irony that living near the volcano's crater was a physician who specialized in nervous disorders.) He returned as a journalist in the 1950s, then again in 1990 to cover a Mafia trial. Although Mafiosi lurk everywhere, the author hastens to declare that Sicily is not an island of evil: "Sicilian human society," he writes, "for all one's presuppositions, displays cooperation, tolerance and good nature." After about 40 pages, Lewis arrives in the recent past (1998) and takes us on a satisfying tour of the unusual and out-of-the-way. He has a sharp eye for oddities, recalling, for instance, a restaurateur with two thumbs on the right hand who had once served him. We learn which side streets and parks in Palermo are favored by lovers; we visit a remote inn that reminds Lewis of the Middle Ages; we stop in Corleone (made famous by The Godfather films); we hear about the spate of immigrants from Africa (the island now has its own "boat people"); and we read about the vandals who have recently damaged some of the island's treasures. A seminalsadness pervades this engaging travelogue: when the author departs, it's as if he's bidding farewell to a lover he fears he will never see again.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429976985
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2007
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 486,982
  • File size: 210 KB

Meet the Author


Norman Lewis is the author of thirteen novels and thirteen works of non-fiction, including Voices of the Old Sea, Golden Earth, and A Goddess in the Stones. He lives in Essex, England.
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