Published: 05/07/2010
ISBN: 9781848763586
Format: Paperback



'I can't recommend this book highly enough. It's a brilliant portrait of Agata, a Sicilian woman whose compulsion to speak aloud what should remain unsaid breaks the unspoken rules of her society. Although the story is set in mid twentieth-century Sicily and concerns the oppressive interpenetration of the Mafia into all aspects of everyday life, it is not really a gangster thriller. It is subtler than that; we hardly see the Mafia in action, we see the shadow it casts, and what that fear of stepping out of line does to people.
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Truth and Flies
Una Granita di Caffe con Panna
by Alessandro Lavagnino (trans. Adam Elgar)

A remarkable blend of lyricism, psychological insight and dramatic tension, which evokes a distinctive Mediterranean community while addressing universal questions of freedom and truth. This is a sparkling translation of a novella by a prize-winning Italian author yet to be discovered in the UK.

How would it be if you lost the ability to lie? Especially if you were a woman living in Sicily, in a society founded on secrecy and silence, and above all the silence of women.

After a head injury caused by a road accident, Agata Avolio can only tell the truth – about her family; about the chemical company she works for; and worst of all, about the way the local community earns its living. The people who really run Sicily will not let this go unpunished.

Agata’s truth-telling takes a terrible toll on her and on the people she loves, as the Church, the ancient beliefs of Sicily, and the Mafia all bring retribution.

Truth and Flies is an intense psychological drama as full of tension as a thriller, lyrically portraying a fierce, heat-drenched world where the highest virtue is to say nothing.

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