The Wine-Dark Sea | Granta

The Wine-Dark Sea

Leonardo Sciascia

Translated by Avril Bardoni

Here are some of Sciascia’s greatest stories – brief and haunting, the realist tradition at its best. In one tale a couple of men talk, cynically yet earnestly, about the etymology of the word ‘mafia’ – who they are, and why their interest is so piqued by the word, becomes apparent with frightening clarity. In another story a group of peasants are taken on board ship and promised that they will be put ashore illegally at Trenton, New Jersey; after a long time at sea, their landfall is far from what they expected. And Mussolini himself takes an interest in the case of Aleister Crowley, whose presence in Sicily has become an embarrassment.

  • Published: 02/01/2014
  • Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781847089281
  • 129x20mm, 272 pages

Few writers managed to capture the taciturn Sicilian character better than Sciascia, who always understood the power of implication in his work. [A] superb collection

The Times

Brief, haunting and unforgettable

Sunday Tribune

A well-written and instructive collection

Time Out

The Author

Leonardo Sciascia was born in Sicily in 1912 and died there in 1989. A master of lucid and accessible prose, Sciascia worked with deceptively simple forms – books about crime, historical novels, political thrillers – in order to engage with the moral and historical problems of modern Italy, especially his native Sicily. His books are rooted in a particular culture but speak to anyone who has ever wondered how people can endure unbearable injustice. Equal Danger was made into the film Illustrious Corpses by Francesco Rosi.

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The Translator

Leonardo Sciascia was born in Sicily in 1912 and died there in 1989. A master of lucid and accessible prose, Sciascia worked with deceptively simple forms – books about crime, historical novels, political thrillers – in order to engage with the moral and historical problems of modern Italy, especially his native Sicily. His books are rooted in a particular culture but speak to anyone who has ever wondered how people can endure unbearable injustice. Equal Danger was made into the film Illustrious Corpses by Francesco Rosi.

More about the translator →

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