Portrait of Lampedusa

Good news for fans of Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s, The Leopard. A fictional account of the author’s last two years has been published by a Canadian, Steven Price, entitled Lampedusa. Little was known about the Sicilian writer until a biography by David Gilmore appeared in 1988. While this provided the details of Lampedusa’s life, his character remained somewhat in the shadows. Steven Price is a poet who, with a considerable feat of imagination, has got inside the skin of Lampedusa. We witness the writer, melancholic in temperament and lacking in confidence with the outside world, completing his great novel and striving to find a publisher. The social environment of Palermo in the 1950s is convincingly portrayed in this sensitive and atmospheric account. Fiction, as in the case of Lampedusa’s own work, can provide rare insights.

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