Andrea Camilleri was one of the greatest Italian writers of all time. He was a magician of words and an amazing story teller who wrote unusual crime in every novel. His books have been translated into more than 30 languages and made into the hit TV show “Commissario Montalbano”. Read here for more information on his books and TV show. Meanwhile, this post is nothing but an ode to Sicily’s Andrea Camilleri- the greatest Italian writer of all.
An Ode to Sicily’s Andrea Camilleri
Andrea Camilleri’s literary life started very late. He published his first Montalbano book at the age of 68 and then there was no looking back. Camilleri was an avid lover of good literature and gave tribute to Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, the famous Spanish writer by naming his main character Montalbano!
The Documentary: Montalbano and Me:
I rarely delve into author’s lives as the books are somehow more important to me than the author. But with Camilleri, it was different. I was curious of him and his life as much as the alter ego he created- Montalbano!
In the documentary Montalbano and Me, Camilleri can be seen sitting with a cigarette in his hand in his studio in Rome. Filled with books of his favorite authors- James Joyce and Luigi Pirandello, his studio is simple and elegant.
The author talks about his habits and lifestyle and shows a peek into his world. One can notice a gentler side of him as he comes across as a very family oriented man. Camilleri tells the viewers of the time he had to live with his wife, mother and mother in law, all under the same roof! He lovingly speaks of his family, his father and of course his favorite character- Inspector Montalbano.
Available with English subtitles, the documentary covers many aspects of the author’s life such as his Sicilian upbringing, habits, reading, popularity etc.
Throughout the documentary, Camilleri comes across as a very intelligent man who is equally humble and sweet.
Life of Andrea Camilleri:
Andrea Camilleri lived in Rome most of his life but was originally from Porto Empedocle, Sicily. He was very inspired by his hometown and created the fictional town of Vigata` which is the setting for the Inspector Montalbano books.
The Montalbano series of crime fiction are much more than just novels, they are in fact Camilleri’s description of the Sicilian way of living. In these books, food prioritizes over everything else, sometimes more than solving a case!!
It is a real treat knowing about the late author who is a household name in Italy! Montalbano and Me is a must watch for Andrea Camilleri’s fans as it offers a peek into his world. To know more about the English version of Camilleri’s books read this post.
Update- Montalbano and Me was available on BBC iplayer but unfortunately it is no longer available.
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Did you know Camilleri wrote the final book of the Montalbano series many years back and knew the fate of Inspector Montalbano!