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I have been reading since I was a little girl and have had many favorite authors over time. An author to me is a magician of words, a story teller, an inspiration…..I rarely delve into author’s lives as the book is more important to me. Well, until now.

After watching a documentary based on the life of Andrea Camilleri, I want to know more about him. The documentary is dubbed in English and is called Montalbano and Me. Camilleri, who is the creator of the famous series of books on Inspector Montalbano, based these books in Sicily. However, the series is more than just crime. They delve into the daily life of Sicilians where food prioritises over everything else. Camiller’s dry humour is to be savoured slowly as you would savour the cannoli.

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The one hour documentary covers many aspects of the author from his Sicilian upbringing to daily habits, family, lifestyle, popularity etc. It is a treat knowing about the enigma who is a household name in Italy and has touched the lives of many. Camilleri, who now lives in Rome, is originally from Porto Empedocle in Sicily.

He speaks a lot about his childhood in the documentary and mentions how he was brought up by women. He was very close to his grandmother as well. After his marriage, his mother and mother in law lived with him in the same house and it shows how his world is very family oriented. He speaks of small details such as his father dying in front of him that literally welled me up.

One can find his books in the small studio where he sits. He believes that writing is not a difficult task as many point out, and is certainly easier than unloading crates. His favorite authors are James Joyce and Luigi Pirandello while his favorite book is The King of Girgenti which he took 5 years to write. I was amazed to know more about this man who is so sorted, intelligent and witty.

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He is never seen without a cigarette in his hand and is so active even at the age of 90. I am even more amazed to find out that the final Montalbano book has already been written and since every year one of the Montalbano books is published in English, I have a long wait to reach this time.

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What would we do without translators?? In this case Stephen Sartarelli who brought us this piece of fantastic literature from the Sicilian world to the English.

“Without translation, I would be limited to the borders of my own country. The translator is my most important ally. He introduces me to the world.”- Italo Calvino

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