Andrea Camilleri

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


Originally from Porto Empedocle, Sicily, Camilleri began university studies in the Faculty of Literature at the University of Palermo, but did not complete his degree.[3] meanwhile publishing 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 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 Le inchieste del commissario Maigret[4] 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 Vigta, 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 Vzquez Montalbn;[5] the similarities between Montalban’s Pepe Carvalho and Camilleri’s fictional detective are noteworthy. Both writers make use 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 Vigta is modelled – took the extraordinary step of changing its official name to that of Porto Empedocle Vigta, 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.[6]

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”.[7]

On 17 June 2019, Camilleri suffered a heart attack. He was admitted to hospital in a critical condition.[8] He died on 17 July 2019.[1][9] He has been buried in the Protestant Cemetery of Rome.


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Honorary degrees

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[13] and the American University of Rome on 30 October 2013.[14]


Inspector Salvo Montalbano

(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’et 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 2019 The Overnight Kidnapper Penguin Books
L’altro capo del filo 2016 Sellerio 2019 The Other End of the Line Penguin Books
La rete di protezione 2017 Sellerio 2020 The Safety Net Penguin Books
Il metodo Catalanotti 2018 Sellerio
Il cuoco dell’Alcyon 2019 Sellerio


(including Montalbano’s short stories)

  • Gli arancini di Montalbano (1999)


  • Biografia di un figlio cambiato (2000) ISBN88-17-86612-1
  • Il birraio di Preston (1995) ISBN88-389-1098-7
  • La bolla di componenda (1993)
  • La concessione del telefono (1998) ISBN88-389-1344-7
  • La concessione del telefono: versione teatrale dell’omonimo romanzo (2005) ISBN88-7796-265-8
  • Il corso delle cose (1978; revised edition, 1998) ISBN88-389-1472-9
  • Il diavolo: tentatore, innamorato (2005) ISBN88-7989-960-0
  • Favole del tramonto (2000) ISBN88-86772-22-X
  • Un filo di fumo (1980)
  • Il gioco della mosca (1995) ISBN88-389-1193-2
  • Gocce di Sicilia (2001) ISBN88-86772-08-4 (Texts originally published in the Almanacco dell’Altana between 1995 and 2000.)
  • Le inchieste del commissario Collura (2002) ISBN88-7415-002-4
  • La linea della palma: Saverio Lodato fa raccontare Andrea Camilleri (2002) ISBN88-17-87050-1
  • Il medaglione (2005) ISBN88-04-55027-9
  • Un mese con Montalbano (1998) ISBN88-04-44465-7 (Thirty short stories)
  • Montalbano a viva voce (2002) ISBN88-04-50974-0 (Two audio CDs)
  • La mossa del cavallo (1999) ISBN88-17-86083-2
  • L’ombrello di Noe (2002) ISBN88-17-87011-0
  • Le parole raccontate: piccolo dizionario dei termini teatrali (2001) ISBN88-17-86888-4
  • La paura di Montalbano (2002) ISBN88-04-50694-6 (Six short stories)
  • The Fourth Secret (2014), a short story taken from La paura di Montalbano
  • La Pensione Eva: romanzo (2006) ISBN88-04-55434-7
  • La presa di Macall (2003) ISBN88-389-1896-1 (Novel in the dialect of Sicily)
  • La prima indagine di Montalbano (2004) ISBN88-04-52983-0
  • Privo di titolo (2005) ISBN88-389-2030-3
  • Racconti quotidiani (2001) ISBN88-900411-4-5
  • Il re di Girgenti (2001) ISBN88-389-1668-3
  • Romanzi storici e civili (2004) ISBN88-04-51929-0
  • La scomparsa di Pat: romanzo (2000) ISBN88-04-48412-8
  • Hunting Season (2014) La stagione della caccia (1992, 1998) ISBN88-389-1018-9
  • Storie di Montalbano (2002) ISBN88-04-50427-7
  • La strage dimenticata (1997) ISBN88-389-1388-9
  • I teatri stabili in Italia (1898–1918) (1959)
  • Teatro (2003)
  • La testa ci fa dire: dialogo con Andrea Camilleri (2000) ISBN88-389-1568-7
  • Vi racconto Montalbano: interviste (2006) ISBN88-7981-302-1
  • 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) ISBN88-389-2453-8
  • L’intermittenza (2010) ISBN978-88-04-59842-8
  • Ora dimmi di te (2018) ISBN978-88-4529-7755

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