On Persephones Island: A Sicilian Journal

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
An American married to a Sicilian professor and ancestral farm owner, Simeti with her family divides the year between Palermo and the countryside. In a beautifully written journal covering one year, she records with an artist's eye the rhythm of the seasons, the extremes of climate and contrasts between the lush coastal region, wheatlands and the mountainous, more barren interior of the island. With a useful historical perspective on Sicily's blend of civilizations, she also provides lively insights into the character of its people, their social and burial customs and festivals, some of them of Greek, Arab or Norman origin. The author appears to have retained an American independent spirit while immersing herself in an alien society and mastering the practical demands of rural existence. That her sensitivity to the charms of her adoptive land does not blind her to its shortcomings makes her a most reliable guide. Illustrations. (April 7)
Library Journal
Simeti, an American who was graduated from Radcliffe in the early 1960s, went to Sicily to aid in Third World development. She married a Sicilian professor; they have two children, an apartment in Palermo, and a farm. Now, after 20 years, she has written this excellent journal depicting the social life and customs of the island. Using the seasons as a guide, she takes the reader on a year-long visit, comparing and contrasting various aspects of daily life, especially holiday customs. There is also a little history and politics and a lot of geography, horticulture, and relating of contemporary to classical lore. A very engaging book that dispels one-sided notions about Sicily. Recommended. Sondra Brunhumer, Western Michigan Univ. Libs., Kalamazoo
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780394549880
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/12/1986
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 32
  • Pages: 314

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