On Persephone's Island: A Sicilian Journal

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9780553813562: On Persephone's Island: A Sicilian Journal
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This volume offers the journal of a year in the life of Mary Taylor Simeti who has lived in Sicily since 1962, her pespective and prose aim to capture the spirit of this mythical land. Mary Taylor Simeti brings to life the sights, sounds and endless contradictions of Sicily, whether she's showing the reader its formidable landscapes, its most colourful religious pageants, or the site where Demeter is said to have witnessed the goddess Persephone's abduction into the Underworld.

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Review:

'An elegant, skilful writer with a gift for both the picaresque and gentle humour...A charming, quietly addictive read' -- The List

‘Evocative and rich...One of those rare pieces of literature that capture the mood and spirit of a place. Wonderful’ -- San Francisco Chronicle

‘Fascinating...This is much, much more than a daily record of happenings' -- New York Times Book Review

From the Back Cover:

The scent of oranges and almonds. The intoxicating sweetness of a cake called 'The Triumph of Greed'. Criminals who gun down convoys of police. Religious festivals at which celebrants tidy up their family tombs and make archangels dance in the village piazza. Scenes like these burst from the pages of this gem of contemporary travel writing.

When Mary Taylor Simeti left college she came to Sicily intending to stay for a year or so, but instead she married and raised a family. With both a native's intimacy and the impartial eye of an outsider, she chronicles four seasons in the place she calls Persephone's Island after the goddess of myth who once made it her home.

A feast of information, On Persephone's Island is a beautifully written account of a woman's love affair with Sicily that truly captures its spirit, whether the author is guiding us around its formidable landscapes, its chaotic pageants, its anti-mafia protests, its history of Greek, Arab, Norman and Spanish conquests, the shabby Palermo convent that sells the world's best cannoli, or simply harvesting olives on her family's farm.

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Taylor-Simeti, Mary
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