Andrea Camilleri

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Andrea Camilleri
Andrea Camilleri in 2010
Andrea Camilleri in 2010
Born (1925-09-06) 6 September 1925 (age 93)
Porto Empedocle, Sicily
Occupation Author, director
Nationality Italian
Alma mater Accademia Nazionale di Arte Drammatica Silvio D'Amico
Notable works The Inspector Montalbano novels
Notable awards Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (2003)
Years active 1950–present

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 D'Annunzio University of Chieti–Pescara (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)

Montalbano Series
Italian title Year of Italian
Year of English
English title English publisher
La forma dell'acqua 1994 Sellerio 2002 The Shape of Water Picador
Il cane di Terracotta 1996 Sellerio 2002 The Terracotta Dog Picador
Il ladro di merendine 1996 Sellerio 2003 The Snack Thief Picador
La voce del violino 1997 Sellerio 2003 The Voice of the Violin Picador
Gita a Tindari 2000 Sellerio 2005 Excursion to Tindari Picador
L'odore della notte 2001 Sellerio 2005 The Scent of the Night Picador
Il giro di boa 2003 Sellerio 2006 Rounding the Mark Picador
La pazienza del ragno 2004 Sellerio 2007 The Patience of the Spider Picador
La luna di carta 2005 Sellerio 2008 The Paper Moon Picador
La vampa d'agosto 2006 Sellerio 2009 August Heat Picador
Le ali della sfinge 2006 Sellerio 2009 The Wings of the Sphinx Penguin Books
La pista di sabbia 2007 Sellerio 2010 The Track of Sand Penguin Books
Il campo del vasaio 2008 Sellerio 2011 The Potter's Field Penguin Books
L'età del dubbio 2008 Sellerio 2012 The Age of Doubt Penguin Books
La danza del gabbiano 2009 Sellerio 2013 The Dance of the Seagull Penguin Books
La caccia al tesoro 2010 Sellerio 2013 Treasure Hunt Penguin Books
Il sorriso di Angelica 2010 Sellerio 2014 Angelica's Smile Penguin Books
Il gioco degli specchi 2011 Sellerio 2015 Game of Mirrors Penguin Books
Una lama di luce 2012 Sellerio 2015 A Beam of Light Penguin Books
Una voce di notte 2012 Sellerio 2016 A Voice in the Night Penguin Books
Un covo di vipere 2013 Sellerio 2017 A Nest of Vipers Penguin Books
La piramide di fango 2014 Sellerio 2018 The Pyramid of Mud Penguin Books
La giostra degli scambi 2015 Sellerio
L'altro capo del filo 2016 Sellerio
La rete di protezione 2017 Sellerio
Il metodo Catalanotti 2018 Sellerio


(including Montalbano's short stories)

  • Gli arancini di Montalbano (1999) ISBN 88-04-46972-2
  • Biografia di un figlio cambiato (2000) ISBN 88-17-86612-1
  • Il birraio di Preston (1995) ISBN 88-389-1098-7
  • La bolla di componenda (1993)
  • La concessione del telefono (1998) ISBN 88-389-1344-7
  • La concessione del telefono: versione teatrale dell'omonimo romanzo (2005) ISBN 88-7796-265-8
  • Il corso delle cose (1978; revised edition, 1998) ISBN 88-389-1472-9
  • Il diavolo: tentatore, innamorato (2005) ISBN 88-7989-960-0
  • Favole del tramonto (2000) ISBN 88-86772-22-X
  • Un filo di fumo (1980)
  • Il gioco della mosca (1995) ISBN 88-389-1193-2
  • Gocce di Sicilia (2001) ISBN 88-86772-08-4 (Texts originally published in the Almanacco dell'Altana between 1995 and 2000.)
  • Le inchieste del commissario Collura (2002) ISBN 88-7415-002-4
  • La linea della palma: Saverio Lodato fa raccontare Andrea Camilleri (2002) ISBN 88-17-87050-1
  • Il medaglione (2005) ISBN 88-04-55027-9
  • Un mese con Montalbano (1998) ISBN 88-04-44465-7 (Thirty short stories)
  • Montalbano a viva voce (2002) ISBN 88-04-50974-0 (Two audio CDs)
  • La mossa del cavallo (1999) ISBN 88-17-86083-2
  • L'ombrello di Noe (2002) ISBN 88-17-87011-0
  • Le parole raccontate: piccolo dizionario dei termini teatrali (2001) ISBN 88-17-86888-4
  • La paura di Montalbano (2002) ISBN 88-04-50694-6 (Six short stories)
  • The Fourth Secret (2014), a short story taken from La paura di Montalbano
  • La Pensione Eva: romanzo (2006) ISBN 88-04-55434-7
  • La presa di Macallè (2003) ISBN 88-389-1896-1 (Novel in the dialect of Sicily)
  • La prima indagine di Montalbano (2004) ISBN 88-04-52983-0
  • Privo di titolo (2005) ISBN 88-389-2030-3
  • Racconti quotidiani (2001) ISBN 88-900411-4-5
  • Il re di Girgenti (2001) ISBN 88-389-1668-3
  • Romanzi storici e civili (2004) ISBN 88-04-51929-0
  • La scomparsa di Patò: romanzo (2000) ISBN 88-04-48412-8
  • Hunting Season (2014) La stagione della caccia (1992, 1998) ISBN 88-389-1018-9
  • Storie di Montalbano (2002) ISBN 88-04-50427-7
  • La strage dimenticata (1997) ISBN 88-389-1388-9
  • I teatri stabili in Italia (1898–1918) (1959)
  • Teatro (2003)
  • La testa ci fa dire: dialogo con Andrea Camilleri (2000) ISBN 88-389-1568-7
  • Vi racconto Montalbano: interviste (2006) ISBN 88-7981-302-1
  • Il colore del sole (2007)
  • Le pecore ed il pastore (2007)
  • La novella di Antonello da Palermo (2007)
  • Voi non sapete (2007)
  • Maruzza Musumeci (2007)
  • Il tailleur grigio (2008)
  • Il casellante (2008)
  • La muerte de Amalia Sacerdote (2008)
  • Un sabato, con gli amici (2009)
  • Il sonaglio (2009)
  • La rizzagliata (2009)
  • La tana delle vipere (2009)
  • Il nipote del Negus (2010) ISBN 88-389-2453-8
  • L'intermittenza (2010) ISBN 978-88-04-59842-8
  • Ora dimmi di te (2018) ISBN 978-88-4529-7755


  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 27 September 2018.

External links[edit]