Uncovering Italy’s Superlatives in people, places and things

ISSIMO Booklist: Sicily

The Sicily book list

Sicily is a never-ending muse for fact and fiction. Over the centuries, authors have scribed novels, plays, and poems that bring you into the la Trinacria with imagery and prose that keeps you wanting more. Sit at the table for the struggles of a typical Sicilian family, get a close up glimpse of 1960s Sicily and the at-the-time never discussed Mafia, follow the adventures of  Inspector Montalbano around the fictional town of Vigata and get lost in the fables and fairy-tales of an incredible and diverse island.

The Leopard

by Tomasi di Lampedusa

Lampedusa’s brilliant novel chronicles the life of Sicilian nobility and the change in society in the midst of the Italian Risorgimento.

The day of the Owl

by Leonardo Sciascia

Sciascia’s first crime novel introduces the existence of the Mafia through the story of a murder in a small Sicilian town.

A genius absurdist metatheatrical play about the relationship between characters, authors, and theatre practitioners.

The House of the Medlar-Tree

by Giovanni Verga

This tale of a poor Sicilian family reflect the struggle for self-improvement in the face of poverty and tragedy.

The Shape of Water

by Andrea Camilleri

A thriller in the Detective Montalbano series about the investigation of the death of a well-known engineer.

Conversations in Sicily

by Elio Vittorini

A successful, yet troubled, businessman returns to Sicily after a long time away and rediscovers those fundamental values of life.

Sicilian Tales

by Luigi Capuana

A collection of twenty original Sicilian fairytales.

Complete Poems

by Salvatore Quasimodo

Quasimodo’s moving poetry with themes ranging from love, to solitude and myth.

The Plague Sower

by Gesualdo Bufalino

Apropos to 2020,  a love story stet in a plague-ridden Palermo sanitarium at the end of World War II.

Beautiful Antonio

by Vitalino Brancati

The story of Antonio, Catania’s most famous seducer, and his inability to consummate his marriage to the beautiful heiress, Barbara.

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