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Lampedusa : a novel
2019
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Summary
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.
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Booklist Review
To complete the novel that will be his legacy, a terminally ill nobleman must come to terms with family tragedies and the decline of the Italian aristocracy. Emotionally and financially exhausted after two world wars, Giuseppe is an inward-turned prince. His lung condition is worsening, and the prospect of dying as an heirless dilettante terrifies him. A historical novel, inspired by his Sicilian ancestors, has been simmering within Giuseppe for decades. But to breathe life into the book he will need to confront a lifetime of pain, including war, a grief-stricken mother, a complicated marriage, and the collapse of his place in Italian society. Price (By Gaslight, 2016) has fictionalized the life of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, author of a hard-wrought novel he did not live to see published, the acclaimed Il Gattopardo (The Leopard, 1958). Price faithfully presents Tomasi's, but the goal of his imaginative reconstruction is not hagiography, but rather the humanization of a literary master. Price's imaginative reconstruction of Tomasi's work avoids hagiography and humanizes a literary master, while also depicting the agony and urgency of writing.--Brendan Driscoll Copyright 2010 Booklist
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