SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2019 SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE
From the #1 nationally bestselling author of By Gaslight, a novel of exquisite emotional force about love and art in the life of one of the great writers, reminiscent of Colm Tóibín's The Master, or Michael Cunningham's The Hours.
In sun-drenched Sicily, among the decadent Italian aristocracy of the late 1950s, Giuseppe Tomasi, the last prince of Lampedusa, struggles to complete the novel that will be his lasting legacy, The Leopard. With a firm devotion to the historical record, Lampedusa leaps effortlessly into the mind of the writer and inhabits the complicated heart of a man facing down the end of his life, struggling to make something of lasting worth, while there is still time.
Achingly beautiful and elegantly conceived, Steven Price's new novel is an intensely moving story of one man's awakening to the possibilities of life, intimately woven against the transformative power of a great work of art.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The third book by Victoria-based author Steven Price (By Gaslight) is a stunning historical novel shortlisted for Canada’s Giller Prize. Price imagines the final years of terminally ill Giuseppe Tomasi, the last prince of the Sicilian island of Lampedusa, as he pens what would posthumously become one of Italy’s most cherished novels. Poetic and contemplative, Lampedusa is a cathartic meditation on death and legacy, acting as a fearless examination of mortality and what it means to leave one’s mark on the world.
Price (By Gaslight) illuminates in fine fictionalized fashion the last years of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa as he struggles to write one of the glories of Italian literature, his only novel, The Leopard. In January 1955, Lampedusa is diagnosed with advanced emphysema. His marriage childless, Lampedusa wants to leave something behind after his death and comes up with the idea of a novel that takes place during Garibaldi's invasion of Sicily in 1860. The result is The Leopard, an intimate epic of the dying social order in 19th-century Sicily, mirrored by Lampedusa's observations about his own dying social order in the 20th. While writing, Lampedusa visits the remains of the family estate in Palma, considers adopting a young friend in order to pass on his title of duke, and reminisces about fighting on the Italian Front during WWI and meeting his wife, Alessandra, in London in 1925. Though light on plot, Price vividly recreates an Italy transitioning from postwar austerity to the beginnings of La Dolce Vita, juxtaposing crumbling palazzos with sleek, supercharged sports cars. Price makes Lampedusa as compelling a figure as Lampedusa's hero, Prince Don Fabrizio Salina. Readers will savor this rich look at Italian history.
Customer ReviewsSee All
A beautiful story
This is a beautiful story written by a very talented author. I highly recommend it.