Earlier this year, Felice Cavallaro, a highly regarded journalist from the Italian daily
newspaper Corriere della Sera, launched the Road of Writers—a project to rediscover
and celebrate Sicily’s great writers. By way of an introduction to Sicilian writers, the
American editors were taken on a tour of the province of Agrigento, which included
stops in Racalmuto, Porto Empedocle, Santa Margherita di Belice, and Kaos.
In a companion event, the Regional Film Commission of Sicily and the Experimental Center of Cinematography selected four ;lms (listed below) that use narratives
taken from important Sicilian writers’ books to capture the connection that literature
has with the land and their towns.
Lo Sguardo Del Principe: La Donnafugata Del Gattopardo (The Gaze of the Prince: The
Donnafugata of ‘The Leopard’): Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (1896–1957), whose
only novel, The Leopard, is a classic of Italian literature, was born in Santa Margherita
di Belice, a town that director David Gambino brings to life in this ;lm.
Andrea Camilleri Calogero (Andrea Camilleri Calogero): The port city of Porto
Empedocle is the birthplace of popular contemporary mystery writer Andrea
Camilleri, known for his Inspector Montalbano series, and it’s also the setting for this
;lm by directors Ruben Monterosso and Federico Savonitto. Camilleri was born there
on the day of Saint Calogero, whom his mother had petitioned after the death of her
;rst two children. The ;lm is based on Camilleri’s ;rst novel, The Course of Things.
Paesaggio: Pirandelliano (Landscape: Pirandello): Luigi Pirandello (1867–1936) was a
short story writer, poet, novelist, and winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1934.
The ancient Greek temples and salt mines that surround Kaos, a region on the
outskirts of Agrigento, ;gure heavily in Pirandello’s writing. The ;lm, by Monterosso
and Savonitto, is set around Kaos and is based on the author’s 1926 novel, One, No One
and One Hundred Thousand.
Racalmuto: Isola nell’isola (Racalmuto: Island Within an Island): Leonardo Sciascia
(1921–1989) is best known for his novel The Day of the Owl, and for the The Moro
Affair, a non;ction book about the 1978 kidnapping of Italian prime minister Aldo
Moro. The ;lm, by director Dario Guarneri, is set in the remote village of Racalmuto,
which Sciascia described as an “island within an island—my land, my Sicily.” —M.R.
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY ; SEPTEMBER 22, 2014 22
cussed an elaborately
illustrated book called Le
eruzioni dell’Etna nell’opera di
Orazio Silvestri (The Eruptions
of Aetna and the Works of
Orazio Silvestri), by a 19th-
century geologist from
Vincenzo Graffeo of
www.melqartcommunica-tion.it), based in Sciacca, presented La notte in cui Pessoa incontrò Filippo Bentivegna (The Night Pessoa Met
Filippo Bentivegna), a novel by Vincenzo
Catanzaro. The book, about “an imaginary meeting between the great Portuguese writer [Pessoa] and an unknown,
illiterate sculptor,” was a finalist in literature at Sicily’s Kaos Literary Festival.
The editors from Aulino Editore
( www.aulinoeditore.it) presented a book
about a boxer during the 1920s. Giuseppe
Curreri alias Johnny Dundee: Le orginine
siciliane del grande pugile (Giuseppe Curreri, Alias Johnny Dundee: The Origins
of the Great Sicilian Fighter) is a biography of a young man who was born in
Sciacca and raised in America, who became a super lightweight champion.
Armando Siciliano, owner of Armando
Siciliano Editore ( www.armandosicilia-noeditore.it), founded in Messina in
1986, introduced the American editors
to a novel by Michele Barbera titled Il
testamento di Vantò (The Testament of
Vantò), about an eccentric smalltown
scholar, which also won a prize earlier
this year at the Kaos Literary Festival.
The publisher’s list includes novels, poetry, and books on music. One nonfiction
book—Vite anNegate (Drowned Lives) by
Roberto Rapisarda—explores the plight
of African immigrants who landed on the
Sicilian island of Lampedusa during the
last seven years.
Ugo Magno, an editor at Mesogea
( www.gem.me.it), based in Messina, pre-
sented a selection of fiction, nonfiction,
and children’s books, including La banda
dei Giufà (The Tales of Giufà) by Carlo
Carzan and Lucia Scuderi—a series of il-
lustrated children’s tales about a folk-
loric character named Giufà,
a kind of village idiot.
Bonfirraro Editore (www.
in Enna, was, according to its
catalogue, “founded 30 years
ago and dedicated to discovering new talented writers
celebrating the Sicilian cultural identity.” Owner Salvo
Bonfirraro presented several
of books from the publisher’s
list of 150 titles, including Luigi Man-zatto’s Innocenza Rubata. Storie segrete di
una monacazione (Stolen Innocence: Secret
Stories of Taking the Veil), about women
Founded in 2003 as a free experimen-
tal newspaper in the city of Marsala,
Navarra Editore ( www.navarraeditore.it)
is now a book publisher “dedicated to
social and cultural phenomena, with
particular attention to emerging au-
thors.” Its list includes Camicette bianche:
Oltre l’ 8 marzo (White Blouses: On
March 8) by Ester Rizzo, about the 1911
Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New
Last but not least, Aperatura a Strappo
( aperturaastrappo.blogspot.it), an
experimental publisher, presented its
oral history titles, meant to be read aloud
and sold almost exclusively in public
spaces—such as the piazzas found in so
many Italian towns, like the one where
the Sciacca Film Fest took place. ;
A Journey Through Literary Sicily in Film