Southern Italy has long inspired one of the most vigorous literary traditions in Europe. Visitors since antiquity have sought to capture the extraordinary natural beauty and cultural riches of the region, and in this wide-ranging collection such notable foreign visitors as Goethe and Somerset Maugham sit alongside many of Italy’s finest writers, including Luigi Pirandello, Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, Elio Vittorini, and Anna Maria Ortese.
The stories here range across the regions of Sicily, Calabria, Campania, Apulia, and Basilicata. Theocritus, Virgil, and Ovid describe a Sicily populated by Cyclopes and sea monsters. In an excerpt from The Smile of the Unknown Mariner, Vincenzo Consolo depicts an island on the frontier of Italian unification. The South’s legendary legacy of organised crime enlivens the stories of Leonardo Sciascia and Joseph Conrad. Curzio Malaparte and Norman Lewis immortalize the wreckage of Naples and the indomitable spirit of its people during World War II, and Elena Ferrante gives us a spectacular portrait of a poor but vibrant Neapolitan neighborhood in an excerpt from the best-selling My Brilliant Friend. Collectively, these entertaining tales provide a portal into a fascinating place in all its drama and beauty.
Everyman’s Library pursues the highest production standards, printing on acid-free cream-colored paper, with full-cloth cases with two-color foil stamping, decorative endpapers, silk ribbon markers, European-style half-round spines, and a full-color illustrated jacket.