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

4.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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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 (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 295,768 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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.


Customer Reviews

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By Jeremy Walton TOP 500 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
...Read more ›
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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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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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Considering the scope and scale of of Sicilian geography, history and culture, Andrew and Suzanne Edwards have done an admirable, if not brilliant, job in crafting this engaging, fascinating and highly readable literary guide of Sicily. The authors approach to such a mass of information is to approach the subject geographically as opposed to chronologically, with each chapter -- starting in Palermo -- advancing around the island in a clockwise direction. The inevitable result is that Aeschylus and Cicero sit side by side on the page with more modern writers like D.H. Lawrence and Truman Capote. Yet this curious mix, which could easily engender a certain chaos, works extremely well. Within the set structure of place, the writers who have lived and visited the island are free to elucidate the complex story of Sicily. Unlike other literary guides such as Prague: A Traveler's Literary Companion (Traveller's Literary Companion (Whereabouts)) which merely contain a collection of stories written about the location, this really is a guide, as it is written with the traveller in mind. I was lucky enough to read the book whilst spending six weeks in Sicily, and due to the geographical nature of the layout I could for example skip to the section on Selinunte before visiting, finding out about Jorge Luis Borges and his trip to the great ruins -- something very much beyond a Wikipedia page or Lonely Planet guide. The risk in writing a literary guide to Sicily is that with the vast number of literary visitors to the island -- from ancient Greeks and medieval Arabs to modern American and English greats -- native authors will be buried under others words and works.Read more ›
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