Sicilian Uncles Paperback – 2 Jan 2014
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District Attorney Varga is shot dead and then two judges are murdered - Inspector Rogas works his way into the mind of his prime suspect in Equal Danger, a wide-ranging political thriller that brilliantly evokes Sicily by a great European writer. There are four novellas in Sicilian Uncles in which illusions about history and ideology are lost in mirth, in suffering and the abandonment of innocence. Each is set in a historical moment: the events of 1848, the Spanish Civil War, the Allied invasion of Sicily and the death of Stalin. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
LEONARDO SCIASCIA was born in Sicily in 1912 and died there in 1989. Like Joseph Roth, Sciascia worked with deceptively simple forms - books about crime, historical novels, political thrillers - and was a master of lucid and accessible prose. This polished surface conceals great depths of sophistication and an intense engagement with the moral and historical problems of modern Italy, especially of his native Sicily. His books are rooted in a particular culture; they speak to anyone who has ever wondered how people can endure unbearable injustice.
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Top customer reviews
The opening story in "Sicilian Uncles" deals with the liberation of Sicily from the Germans by American troops in 1943, and the saga of one family's bittersweet connection with relatives who immigrated to the U.S. before the war and return to proselytize with some smugness to their island cousins. A third novella, "Forty-Eight", focuses on the years of transition (1840-48) when Sicily slowly moved from being part of a creaky monarchy, ruled from Naples, to enthusiastic supporter of Garibaldi and his republican liberation movement. A final story takes a poignant look at Sicilians and Italians who were dragooned into fighting in Spain during the Civil War of the 1930s by Mussolini, who saw a chance to further the cause of Fascism in support of Franco and his rebellion against the Spanish Republic.
In these novellas, Sciascia was interested in several repeating dynamics common to much of Sicily's modern history: tension and conflict between the haves and the have nots; the role of the Catholic Church in the political life of the community; and the general cynicism held by the average Sicilian (and probably most Italians) in dealing with any kind of authority. While the reader learns a great deal about the history of a rather obscure corner of Europe (from a general American perspective, at least), Sciascia has also provided wonderful characters and entertaining dialogue that will appeal to any lover of fiction. This is terrific writing--accessible, intelligent and always credible. A wonderful collection that is a little difficult to find, but available through Amazon (with patience) or from used book dealers.
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