Andrea Camilleri

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Andrea Camilleri
Andrea Camilleri in 2010
Andrea Camilleri in 2010
Born (1925-09-06) 6 September 1925 (age 91)
Porto Empedocle, Sicily
Nationality Italian
Alma mater Accademia Nazionale di Arte Drammatica Silvio D'Amico
Occupation Author, director
Years active 1950–present
Notable work The Inspector Montalbano novels
Political party Independent Left
Awards Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (2001)

Andrea Calogero Camilleri (Italian pronunciation: [anˈdrɛːa kamilˈlɛːri]; born 6 September 1925) is an Italian writer.[1]


Originally from Porto Empedocle, Sicily, Camilleri began studies at the Faculty of Literature in 1944, without concluding them,[2] meanwhile publishing poems and short stories.

From 1948 to 1950 Camilleri studied stage and film direction at the Silvio D'Amico Academy of Dramatic Arts (Accademia Nazionale d'Arte Drammatica) and began to take on work as a director and screenwriter, directing especially plays by Pirandello and Beckett. His parents knew, and were, reportedly, "distant friends" of, Pirandello, 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[3] with Gino Cervi. In 1977 he returned to the Academy of Dramatic Arts, holding the chair of Film 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 significant amount 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 a homage to the Spanish writer Manuel Vázquez Montalbán; the 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 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 name to that of Porto Empedocle Vigàta, no doubt with an eye to capitalising on the tourism possibilities thrown up by the author's work. On his website, Camilleri refers to the engaging and multi-faceted character of Montalbano as a "serial killer of characters," meaning that he has developed a life of his own and demands great attention from his author, to the demise of other potential books and different personages. Camilleri added that he writes a Montalbano novel every so often just so that the character will be appeased and allow him to work on other stories.

In 2012, Camilleri's The Potter's Field (translated by Stephen Sartarelli) was announced as the winner of the 2012 Crime Writers' Association International Dagger. The announcement was made on 5 July 2012 at the awards ceremony held at One Birdcage Walk in London.[4]

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 (where BBC Four broadcast the Montalbano TV series from mid-2011), Australia 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 impressionist Fiorello presents him as a raspy voiced, caustic character, madly in love with cigarettes and smoking, since in Italy, Camilleri is well known for being a heavy smoker of cigarettes. He considers himself a "non-militant atheist".[5]


ITA OMRI 2001 GUff BAR.svg

Honorary Degrees[edit]

He received a number of honorary degrees from several Italian universities, among which the IULM University of Milan (2002), the University of Pisa (2005), the University of L'Aquila (2007), the University of Chieti (2007). In 2012 he received an honorary PhD from the Sapienza University of Rome.

Camilleri has also received honorary degrees from UCD (University College Dublin) on 5 December 2011[7] and the American University of Rome on 30 October 2013.[8]


Inspector Salvo Montalbano[edit]

(excluding short stories)

  1. The Shape of Water. Picador. 2003 [2002]. ISBN 978-0-330-49289-8.  (La forma dell'acqua — 1994)
  2. The Terracotta Dog. Picador. 2004 [2002]. ISBN 978-0-330-49290-4.  (Il cane di terracotta — 1996)
  3. The Snack Thief. Thorndike Press. 2004 [2003]. ISBN 978-1-4056-3081-8.  (Il ladro di merendine — 1996)
  4. The Voice of the Violin. Picador. 2005 [2003]. ISBN 978-0-330-49298-0.  (La voce del violino — 1997)
  5. Excursion to Tindari. Picador. 2006 [2005]. ISBN 978-0-330-49302-4.  (La gita a Tindari — 2000)
  6. The Scent of the Night. Picador. 2007 [2005]. ISBN 978-0-330-44217-6.  (L'odore della notte — 2001)
  7. Rounding the Mark. Picador. 2007 [2006]. ISBN 978-0-330-44219-0.  (Il giro di boa — 2003)
  8. The Patience of the Spider. Picador. 2008 [2007]. ISBN 978-0-330-44223-7.  (La pazienza del ragno — 2004)
  9. The Paper Moon. Picador. 2008. ISBN 978-0-330-45727-9.  (La luna di carta — 2005)
  10. August Heat. Picador. 2009. ISBN 978-0-330-45729-3.  (La vampa d'agosto — 2006)
  11. The Wings of the Sphinx. Mantle. 2009. ISBN 978-0-330-50764-6.  (Le ali della sfinge — 2006)
  12. The Track of Sand. Mantle. 2011 [2010]. ISBN 978-0-330-50766-0.  (La pista di sabbia — 2007)
  13. The Potter's Field. Mantle. 2012 [2011]. ISBN 978-1-4472-0329-2.  (Il campo del vasaio — 2008)
  14. The Age of Doubt. Mantle. 2012. ISBN 978-1-4472-0331-5.  (L'età del dubbio — 2008)
  15. The Dance of the Seagull (it). Mantle. 2013. ISBN 978-1-4472-2871-4.  (La danza del gabbiano — 2009)
  16. Treasure Hunt (it). Mantle. 2013. ISBN 978-1-4472-2878-3.  (La caccia al tesoro — 2010)
  17. Angelica's Smile (it). 2014. ISBN 978-0-14-312376-7.  (Il sorriso di Angelica — 2010)
  18. Game of Mirrors (it). 2015.  (Il gioco degli specchi — 2011)[9]
  19. Blade of Light (it). Picador. 2015. ISBN 9781447264514.  (UK edition: US edition has title A Beam of Light, Penguin, ISBN 978-0-14-312643-0) (Una lama di luce — 2012)
  20. A Voice in the Night (it). Penguin Books. 2016. ISBN 978-0-14-312644-7. (Una voce di notte — 2012)
  21. Un covo di vipere (it) — 2013 — ISBN 978-88-389-3053-9 Editore: Sellerio Editore Palermo
  22. La piramide di fango (it) — 2014
  23. La giostra degli scambi (it) – 2015
  24. L'altro capo del filo (it) — 2016


(including Montalbano's short stories)


  1. ^ "Andrea Camilleri nell'Enciclopedia Treccani". Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  2. ^ "Andrea Camilleri Libri - I libri dell'autore: Andrea Camilleri - Libreria Universitaria". Retrieved 2016-02-10. 
  3. ^ Rinaldi, Lucia (2012). Andrea Camilleri: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction. McFarland. p. 135. ISBN 978-0-7864-4670-4. 
  4. ^ Cf. CWA's website page "CWA International Dagger 2012 Winner" Archived 4 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine..
  5. ^ "Interview to Infomed". Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  6. ^ "Scottish author wins lucrative crime award". Business and Leadership. 4 September 2009. Archived from the original on 13 December 2013. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  7. ^ "UCD honorary degrees for Joseph O'Connor, Andrea Camilleri, Mary Gordon, and Olivia O'Leary". University College Dublin. Retrieved 10 April 2014. 
  8. ^ "Maestro Andrea Camilleri Receives AUR Honoris Causa Degree". The American University of Rome. Retrieved 10 April 2014. 
  9. ^ "Game of Mirrors by Andrea Camilleri cover art and synopsis". Retrieved 15 October 2014. 

External links[edit]