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Andrea Camilleri

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Andrea Camilleri
Camilleri in 2010
Camilleri in 2010
BornAndrea Calogero Camilleri
(1925-09-06)6 September 1925
Porto Empedocle, Sicily, Italy
Died17 July 2019(2019-07-17) (aged 93)
Rome, Italy
Resting placeProtestant Cemetery, Rome
  • Writer
  • director
Alma materAccademia Nazionale di Arte Drammatica Silvio D'Amico
Years active1950–2019
Notable worksInspector Montalbano novels
Inspector Montalbano TV series
Notable awardsOrder of Merit of the Italian Republic (2003)
Rosetta dello Siesto
(m. 1957)

Andrea Calogero Camilleri (Italian pronunciation: [anˈdrɛːa kamilˈlɛːri]; 6 September 1925 – 17 July 2019)[1] was an Italian writer.[2]


Originally from Porto Empedocle, Girgenti,[3] Sicily, Camilleri began university studies in the Faculty of Literature at the University of Palermo, but did not complete his degree;[4] during that time he published poems and short stories.

From 1948 to 1950, he 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 reportedly were "distant friends" of Pirandello, as he relates in his essay on Pirandello, Biography of the Changed Son. His most famous works, the Montalbano series, exhibit many Pirandellian elements[citation needed]: 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 Le inchieste del commissario Maigret[5] 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") became a best-seller.

In 1994, Camilleri published La forma dell'Acqua (The Shape of Water), the first in a long series of novels featuring Inspector Salvo Montalbano, a fractious 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;[6] the similarities between Montalban's Pepe Carvalho and Camilleri's fictional detective are noteworthy. Both writers make use of their protagonists' gastronomic preferences.

This interesting quirk 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 detriment of other potential books and characters. Camilleri added that he wrote a Montalbano novel every so often just so that the character would 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.[7]

In his last years, Camilleri lived in Rome where he worked 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, Andrea Camilleri became 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 was well known for being a heavy smoker of cigarettes. He considered himself a "non-militant atheist".[8]

On 17 June 2019, Camilleri suffered a heart attack. He was admitted to hospital in a critical condition.[9] He died on 17 July 2019.[1][10]


Honorary degrees[edit]

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

Camilleri also received honorary degrees from University College Dublin on 5 December 2011[14] and the American University of Rome on 30 October 2013.[15]


Inspector Salvo Montalbano (1994–2020)[edit]

(excluding short stories)

Montalbano Series
Italian title Year of Italian
Year of English
English title English publisher Year of Spanish
Spanish title Spanish publisher
La forma dell'acqua 1994 Sellerio 2002 The Shape of Water Picador 2002 La forma del agua Salamandra
Il cane di Terracotta 1996 Sellerio 2002 The Terracotta Dog Picador 1999 El perro de Terracota Salamandra
Il ladro di merendine 1996 Sellerio 2003 The Snack Thief Picador 2000 El ladrón de meriendas Salamandra
La voce del violino 1997 Sellerio 2003 The Voice of the Violin Picador 2000 La voz del violín Salamandra
Gita a Tindari 2000 Sellerio 2005 Excursion to Tindari Picador 2001 La excursión a Tindari Salamandra
L'odore della notte 2001 Sellerio 2005 The Scent of the Night Picador 2003 El olor de la noche Salamandra
Il giro di boa 2003 Sellerio 2006 Rounding the Mark Picador 2004 Un giro decisivo Salamandra
La pazienza del ragno 2004 Sellerio 2007 The Patience of the Spider Picador 2006 La paciencia de la araña Salamandra
La luna di carta 2005 Sellerio 2008 The Paper Moon Picador 2007 La luna de papel Salamandra
La vampa d'agosto 2006 Sellerio 2009 August Heat Picador 2009 Ardores de Agosto Salamandra
Le ali della sfinge 2006 Sellerio 2009 The Wings of the Sphinx Penguin Books 2009 Las alas de la Esfinge Salamandra
La pista di sabbia 2007 Sellerio 2010 The Track of Sand Penguin Books 2010 La pista de arena Salamandra
Il campo del vasaio 2008 Sellerio 2011 The Potter's Field Penguin Books 2011 El campo del alfarero Salamandra
L'età del dubbio 2008 Sellerio 2012 The Age of Doubt Penguin Books 2012 La edad de la duda Salamandra
La danza del gabbiano 2009 Sellerio 2013 The Dance of the Seagull Penguin Books 2012 La danza de la gaviota Salamandra
La caccia al tesoro 2010 Sellerio 2013 Treasure Hunt Penguin Books 2013 La búsqueda del tesoro Salamandra
Il sorriso di Angelica 2010 Sellerio 2014 Angelica's Smile Penguin Books 2013 La sonrisa de Angélica Salamandra
Il gioco degli specchi 2011 Sellerio 2015 Game of Mirrors Penguin Books 2014 Juego de espejos Salamandra
Una lama di luce 2012 Sellerio 2015 A Beam of Light Penguin Books 2015 Un filo de luz Salamandra
Una voce di notte 2012 Sellerio 2016 A Voice in the Night Penguin Books 2016 Una voz en la noche Salamandra
Un covo di vipere 2013 Sellerio 2017 A Nest of Vipers Penguin Books 2017 Un nido de víboras Salamandra
La piramide di fango 2014 Sellerio 2018 The Pyramid of Mud Penguin Books 2018 La pirámide de fango Salamandra
La giostra degli scambi 2015 Sellerio 2019 The Overnight Kidnapper Penguin Books 2019 El carrusel de las confusiones Salamandra
L'altro capo del filo 2016 Sellerio 2019 The Other End of the Line Penguin Books 2020 Tirar del hilo Salamandra
La rete di protezione 2017 Sellerio 2020 The Safety Net Penguin Books 2021 La red de protección Salamandra
Il metodo Catalanotti 2018 Sellerio 2020 The Sicilian Method Penguin Books 2021 El método Catalanotti Salamandra
Il cuoco dell'Alcyon 2019 Sellerio 2021 The Cook of the Halcyon Penguin Books 2022 El cocinero del Alcyon Salamandra
Riccardino (it) 2020[16][17] Sellerio 2021 Riccardino Mantle 2022 Riccardino Salamandra


(including Montalbano short stories)

  • Le Arancine 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), La muerte de Amalia Sacerdote (Spanish) ISBN 978-8490565063
  • 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
  • The Revolution of the Moon (2017) La rivoluzione della luna (2013) ISBN 9788838930140
  • Noli me tangere (2016) ISBN 978-88-04-66187-0
  • Ora dimmi di te (2018) ISBN 978-88-4529-7755, Háblame de ti. Carta a Matilda (Spanish) ISBN 978-8498389692


  1. ^ a b "È morto Andrea Camilleri, papà di Montalbano, scrittore e maestro nato per raccontare storie". Repubblica.it (in Italian). 16 July 2019. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  2. ^ "Andrea Camilleri nell'Enciclopedia Treccani". Treccani.it. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  3. ^ Agrigento since 1927
  4. ^ "Andrea Camilleri Libri - I libri dell'autore: Andrea Camilleri - Libreria Universitaria". www.libreriauniversitaria.it. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
  5. ^ Rinaldi, Lucia (2012). Andrea Camilleri: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction. McFarland. p. 135. ISBN 978-0-7864-4670-4. Archived from the original on 18 January 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2014.
  6. ^ Tondo, Lorenzo (5 April 2019). "'Italians go for the strongman': Montalbano author on fascism and the future". The Guardian – via www.theguardian.com.
  7. ^ Cf. CWA's website page "CWA International Dagger 2012 Winner" Archived 4 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ "Interview to Infomed". Infomedi.it. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  9. ^ "ANDREA CAMILLERI NON È MORTO/ "Non cosciente, stabile": l'ispettore Fazio "stai qui"". IlSussidiario.net. 17 June 2019.
  10. ^ Marchese, Francesca (17 July 2019). "Inspector Montalbano creator Camilleri dies at 93". BBC News.
  11. ^ "Scottish author wins lucrative crime award". Business and Leadership. 4 September 2009. Archived from the original on 13 December 2013. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  12. ^ "204816 Andreacamilleri (2007 OZ)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  13. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  14. ^ "UCD honorary degrees for Joseph O'Connor, Andrea Camilleri, Mary Gordon, and Olivia O'Leary". University College Dublin. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  15. ^ "Maestro Andrea Camilleri Receives AUR Honoris Causa Degree". The American University of Rome. 27 September 2014. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  16. ^ Marchese, Francesca (17 July 2019). "Andrea Camilleri: Inspector Montalbano author dies aged 93". BBC News. Retrieved 10 October 2020. Camilleri's final book in the series, entitled Riccardino and written in 2006, remains with his publisher, locked in a cabinet in Palermo under agreement that it be printed at a later date.
  17. ^ Agence France-Presse (16 July 2020). "Montalbano returns in Andrea Camilleri's posthumous novel". the Guardian. Retrieved 10 October 2020. Riccardino was first penned in 2005 and then tweaked in 2016, after which Camilleri gave it to his publisher on the promise that it would not be released until after his death.

External links[edit]