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Pearls series

Lampedusa has made me realize how many ways there are of being alive.

—E. M. Forster

For fans of The Leopard, an intimate portrait of Lampedusa's childhood

Places of My Infancy

Nonfiction by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

translated by Archibald Colquhoun

Lampedusa’s brief but brilliant writing career lasted a mere two years before he succumbed to lung cancer. In that time he produced one novel (The Leopard), three stories, and the beginning of a memoir, Places of My Infancy — a "tour" of Lampedusa’s family estates in Sicily at the turn of the twentieth century. "For me chilhood was a lost paradise," writes Lampedusa. "I was king of the home." Lampedusa gives lush, intimate descriptions of the estates in town and country: one mansion with one hundred rooms, its garden with fountains full of eels, its church, its theater where wandering "country" troupes would perform, its maids and groundskeepers, and Lampedusa’s own family members. Each detail — from his mother’s silver comb to his father’s camera (owned "in 1900!") — unlocks a vivid memory.

published November 7th, 2012