Andrea Camilleri

Andrea Camilleri (born september 6, 1925) is an Italian writer.


Originally from Porto Empedocle, Sicily, Camilleri began studies at the Faculty of Literature in 1944, without concluding them, meanwhile publishing poems and short stories. Around this time he joined the Italian Communist Party.

From 1948 to 1950 Camilleri studied stage and film direction at the Silvio D'Amico Academy of Dramatic Arts, and began to take on work as a director and screenwriter, directing especially plays by Pirandello and Beckett. As a matter of fact, his parents knew Pirandello and were even distant friends, as he tells in his essay on Pirandello "Biography of the changed son". His most famous works, the Montalbano series show many pirandellian elements: for example, the wild olive tree that helps Montalbano think, is on stage in his late work "The giants of the mountain"

With RAI, Camilleri worked on several TV productions, such as "Inspector Maigret" with Gino Cervi. In 1977 he returned to the Academy of Dramatic Arts, holding the chair of Movie Direction, and occupying it for 20 years.

In 1978 Camilleri wrote his first novel "Il Corso Delle Cose" ("The Way Things Go"). This was followed by "Un Filo di Fumo" ("A Thread of Smoke") in 1980. Neither of these works enjoyed any kind of popularity.

In 1992, after a long pause of 12 years, Camilleri once more took up novel-writing. A new book, "La Stagione della Caccia" ("The Hunting Season") turned out to be a best-seller.

In 1994 Camilleri published the first in a long series of novels: "La forma dell'Acqua" ("The Shape of Water") featured the character of Inspector Montalbano, a fractious Sicilian detective in the police force of Vigàta, an imaginary Sicilian town. The series is written in Italian but with a substantial sprinkling of Sicilian phrases and grammar. The name Montalbano is an homage to the Spanish writer Manuel Vázquez Montalbán; the striking similarities between Montalban's Pepe Carvalho and Camilleri's fictional detective are remarkable. Both writers make great play of their protagonists' gastronomic preferences.

This feature provides an interesting quirk which has become something of a fad among his readership even in mainland Italy. The TV adaptation of Montalbano's adventures, starring the perfectly-cast Luca Zingaretti, further increased Camilleri's popularity to such a point that in 2003 Camilleri's home town, Porto Empedocle - on which Vigàta is modelled - took the extraordinary step of changing its official denomination to that of Porto Empedocle Vigàta, no doubt with an eye to capitalising on the tourism possibilities thrown up by the author's work.

In 1998 Camilleri won the Nino Martoglio International Book Award.

Camilleri now lives in Rome where he works as a TV and theatre director. About 10 million copies of his novels have been sold to date, and are becoming increasingly popular in the UK and North America.

In addition to the degree of popularity brought him by the novels, in recent months Andrea Camilleri has become even more of a media icon thanks to the parodies aired on an RAI radio show, where popular comedian, TV-host and impression artist Fiorello presents him as a raspy voiced, caustic character, madly in love with cigarettes and smoking (Camilleri is well-known for his love of tobacco).

He received an honorary degree from University of Pisa in 2005.


Inspector Montalbano

#"The Shape of Water" - 2002 ("La forma dell’acqua" - 1994)
#"The Terracotta Dog" - 2002 ("Il cane di terracotta" - 1996)
#"The Snack Thief" - 2003 ("Il ladro di merendine" - 1996)
#"The Voice of the Violin" - 2003 ("La voce del violino" - 1997)
#"Excursion to Tindari" - 2005 ("La gita a Tindari" - 2000)
#"The Scent of the Night" - 2005 ("L’odore della notte" - 2001)
#"Rounding the Mark" - 2006 ("Il giro di boa" - 2003)
#"The Patience of the Spider" - 2007 ("La pazienza del ragno" - 2004)
#"The Paper Moon - 2008 ("La Luna di Carta" - 2005)
#"August Heat - 2009 ("La Vampa d'Agosto" - 2006)
#"Le Ali della Sfinge" - 2006
#"La pista di Sabbia" - 2007
#"Il campo del vasaio" - 2008


*"Gli arancini di Montalbano" (1999) ISBN 8804469722
*"Biografia di un figlio cambiato" (2000) ISBN 8817866121
*"Il birraio di Preston" (1995) ISBN 8838910987
*"La bolla di componenda" (1993)
*"La concessione del telefono" (1998) ISBN 8838913447
*"La concessione del telefono: versione teatrale dell’omonimo romanzo" (2005) ISBN 8877962658
*"Il corso delle cose" (1978; revised edition, 1998) ISBN 8838914729
*"Il diavolo: tentatore, innamorato" (2005) ISBN 8879899600
*"Favole del tramonto" (2000) ISBN 888677222X
*"Un filo di fumo" (1980)
*"Il gioco della mosca" (1995) ISBN 8838911932
*"Gocce di Sicilia" (2001) ISBN 8886772084 (Texts originally published in the Almanacco dell’Altana between 1995-2000.)
*"Le inchieste del commissario Collura" (2002) ISBN 8874150024
*"La linea della palma: Saverio Lodato fa raccontare Andrea Camilleri" (2002) ISBN 8817870501
*"Il medaglione" (2005) ISBN 8804550279
*"Un mese con Montalbano" (1998) ISBN 8804444657 (Thirty short stories)
*"Montalbano a viva voce" (2002) ISBN 8804509740 (Two audio CDs)
*"La mossa del cavallo" (1999) ISBN 8817860832
*"L’ombrello di Noe" (2002) ISBN 8817870110
*"Le parole raccontate: piccolo dizionario dei termini teatrali" (2001) ISBN 8817868884
*"La paura di Montalbano" (2002) ISBN 8804506946 (Six short stories)
*"La Pensione Eva: romanzo" (2006) ISBN 8804554347
*"La presa di Macallè" (2003) ISBN 8838918961 (Novel in the dialect of Sicily)
*"La prima indagine di Montalbano" (2004) ISBN 8804529830
*"Privo di titolo" (2005) ISBN 8838920303
*"Racconti quotidiani" (2001) ISBN 8890041145
*"Il re di Girgenti" (2001) ISBN 8838916683
*"Romanzi storici e civili" (2004) ISBN 8804519290
*"La scomparsa di Patò: romanzo" (2000) ISBN 8804484128
*"La stagione della caccia" (1992, 1998) ISBN 8838910189
*"Storie di Montalbano" (2002) ISBN 8804504277
*"La strage dimenticata" (1997) ISBN 8838913889
*"I teatri stabili in Italia (1898-1918)" (1959)
*"Teatro" (2003)
*"La testa ci fa dire: dialogo con Andrea Camilleri" (2000) ISBN 8838915687
*"Vi racconto Montalbano: interviste" (2006) ISBN 8879813021
*"Il colore del sole" (2007)
*"Le pecore ed il pastore" (2007)
*"La novella di Antonello da Palermo" (2007)
*"Voi non sapete" (2007)
*"Maruzza Musumeci" (2007)

External links

* [ Official website of Andrea Camilleri] (in Italian)
* [ From Montelusa to Vigata. On the trail of Andrea Camilleri and Inspector Montalbano] (in English)
* [ Andrea Camilleri Reader Website] (in German)
* [ - Camilleri Fans Club] (in Italian)

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