home page

Andrea Camilleri

Camilleri was born in 1925 in Porto Empedocle, in Agrigento Province, in Sicily. He worked as a script editor, a theater and TV producer, before taking up writing very late - his first book, “Il Corso delle Cose” was not published until 1978. But perhaps his first and only meeting with Pirandello sometime between 1932 and 1933 was a portent that no one at the time knew how to interpret: Pirandello, a friend of the family, was incidentally also one of his mother's nephews. Nonetheless, young Camilleri, who grew up during the war years, showed no particular signs of being predestined for a writing career. Even when he published his second book, “Un filo di fumo,” in the year 1980, no one would have been so rash as to apostrophize him as a future best-selling author with several million copies in print. It took another 15 years to reach that point. His hour finally came when he turned away from writing historical novels, to crime fiction, and with his invention of Detective Montalbano, who lives in Sicily and solves his cases in the imaginary town of Vigàta - it was Detective Montalbano who brought commercial success with him. Detective Montalbano is a gourmet – above all, he loves seafood in all its variations. He has a deep-seated aversion to flying and solves his cases using his instincts and an ability to practically become one with his surroundings and delve into the murderer's soul. Its first print run of 100,000 copies was sold out after just a few days; another 80,000 copies were hastily printed, and it became clear that yet another 20,000 would have to be printed: all this in just 5 days

- an absolute record even for an Italian author who sometimes has up to 6 titles in the weekly best-seller lists! Andrea Camilleri has sold more than 2.5 million books since 1998: excellent business for him and his Sicilian publisher Elvira Sellerio. His success is impervious even to the at times harsh critical reviews of his new book. One critic writes: "Montalbano investigates a triple murder. Of course, the happy ending is a given: Montalbano arrests the murderer, and he even manages to resurrect the murder victims. In his fifth Montalbano epos, Camilleri proves once and for all that he is an incompetent crime novelist. The plot is less than gripping, the characters are all identical, and not a single surprise is really surprising..."

Last modified Wednesday, July, 13, 2011