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Sicily: A Literary Guide for Travellers (Literary Guides for Travellers) Hardcover – 26 Mar 2014

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: I.B.Tauris (26 Mar. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780767943
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780767949
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 3 x 20.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 113,301 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Andrew and Suzanne Edwards have created a colourful switchback of quotation and commentary which repeatedly astonishes us with Sicily's differing reservoirs of experience, so that we do find ourselves asking: is there anything Sicily has not seen and does not know?'
--(Duncan Fallowell, The Spectator)

'Sicily has everything a traveller could desire. There are innumerable excellent guides to it, but this is the ideal travelling companion, with its unique interweaving of everything that has contributed to Sicily's profound influence on art, literature, history and philosophy...' --(Country Life)

'Sicily is full of such delicious anecdotes: it is not only a literary signpost for travellers in an ancient island, but a cultural guide for anyone who finds themselves in the infuriating thrall of its contradictory and compelling extremes... Sicily is bound to become battered and dog-eared, blotched with caponata and wine stains.' --Clarissa Hyman, Times Literary Supplement

'a wonderful text on the literary diversity of the island.' --Giles Foden, Conde Nast Traveller

About the Author

Andrew Edwards is writer and the translator of two books set in Sicily by the Spanish author Alejandro Luque. Suzanne Edwards is a linguistics graduate and lecturer. Between them, they have written widely on Sicily, its food, culture and literature.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Dummett on 17 Jun. 2014
Format: Hardcover
Sicily is of outstanding interest for her history, geography and culture and has fascinated visitors since ancient times. Visitors from Cicero onwards have left accounts of their journeys to the island, describing the ancient cities, the temples and the spectacular coastline. A strong literary tradition developed among Sicilians and the island has produced more writers at international level, including Pirandello, Lampedusa and Sciascia, than any other region of comparable size in Italy.

This book, part of a series from I.B. Tauris, provides a summary of the literature on Sicily, from the ancient writers to modern novelists. It is presented in the form of a tour, so that each province is covered in turn, linking writers to specific parts of the island. This approach, highlighting the literary connections, adds another perspective to a visit. Profiles of the authors discussed are included.

This book is a good read in its own right, providing many insights on the island. The first to summarise the writers on Sicily, it offers a valuable service.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By spanna on 9 Jun. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A circular tour around Sicily in the footsteps of many writers who gained inspiration from its culture and history. It's not just a compilation of authors, but a piece of travel writing interweaving comment, quotations and detail on various subjects. From Pindar, through D.H. Lawrence to Andrea Camilleri, the book covers a wide span of literary history, reflecting those who have written about the island. A really interesting read, whether at home or in situ.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Wineberg on 8 July 2014
Format: Hardcover
“Sicily” is an alternative travel guide. It does not contain street maps, does not highlight day trips, rate transportation or list restaurants. Instead, it traces the major villages and towns of Sicily, through writers who have toured them. Many have passed through as soldiers, some were natural travelers, and some were escaping home pressures. All had a lot to say about their environs. And some got actively involved in it.

What Andrew and Suzanne Edwards have leveraged is this remarkable attraction of Sicily for writers. They have tracked down seemingly every writer who visited for three thousand years. They trace visits from ancient Greece and Rome, up to modern America and Britain. The name dropping is impressive, but the research is what is really impressive. Beyond the writer’s name, details from trips, and passages of their writings bring out Sicily in a very different and far more exuberant manner.

The book starts in Palermo in the northwest and works its way clockwise all the way around the island, with abundant tales told by the writers as well as about them, and descriptions of where they stayed and who they met. At the back there are one paragraph profiles of the writers mentioned in the book, like actors in a play. Which is appropriate, since so many of them were storytellers.

There are of course disappointments. Photos are few, even then black and white. There is very little on food, one of the pillars of Sicily’s reputation. There is only one map, at the front, which just pinpoints the villages the book refers to. There is no topography, roads or waterways on it. This is a book to be read with an online map service close by.

It is remarkable that it is even possible to write a literary tour of Sicily. It is even more remarkable that it has been done and is enjoyable.

David Wineberg
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By Jeremy Walton TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 May 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this in order to learn about Sicily's literary history, prior to a trip there later this month. The book fills this role admirably: a well-written, methodical tour around the island (clockwise, beginning and ending in Palermo, its capital), which points out sites of interest and tells the story of the writers who have lived, or visited, here. The links between their books, the buildings and the landscape are often brought out explicitly, starting with The Leopard, Giuseppe Tomasi Di Lampedusa's masterpiece (which I'd read immediately prior to this book), but the book also contains a wealth of fascinating facts, anecdotes and trivia which were all new to me.

For example, I didn't know that Aeschylus wrote the Oresteia whilst in retirement at the Sicilian port of Gela, that Cicero's first public posting was as a public administrator in western Sicily, or that Cervantes was hospitalized in Messina following the Battle of Lepanto and made use of his Sicilian experiences in writing Don Quixote. The authors also point out that Shakespeare uses Sicily as the setting for The Winter's Tale and
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