" "Yes and no, Chief." "

" "Where am I wrong..." />
The Wings of the Sphinx Cover Image

About the Author: Andrea Camilleri

Andrea Camilleri (born september 6, 1925 in Porto Empedocle) is an Italian writer. He is considered one of the greatest Italian writers of both 20th and 21st centuries.

Originally from Porto Empedocle, Sicily, Camilleri began studies at the Faculty of Literature in 1944, without concluding them, meanwhile publishing poems and short stories. Around this time he joined the Italian Communist Party.

From 1948 to 1950 Camilleri studied stage and film direction at the Silvio D'Amico Academy of Dramatic Arts, and began to take on work as a director and screenwriter, directing especially plays by Pirandello and Beckett. As a matter of fact, his parents knew Pirandello and were even distant friends, 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 with Gino Cervi. In 1977 he returned to the Academy of Dramatic Arts, holding the chair of Movie 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 an 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 the perfectly-cast 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 denomination to that of Porto Empedocle Vigàta, no doubt with an eye to capitalising on the tourism possibilities thrown up by the author's work.

In 1998 Camilleri won the Nino Martoglio International Book Award.

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 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 impression artist Fiorello presents him as a raspy voiced, caustic character, madly in love with cigarettes and smoking (Camilleri is well-known for his love of tobacco).

He received an honorary degree from University of Pisa in 2005.



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Find the best price forThe Wings of the Sphinx

Goodreads rating: 3.89

Paperback, Published in Jun 2011 by Picador

ISBN10: 0330507656 | ISBN13: 9780330507653

Page count: 275

""Cat, wanna bet I know why you're calling? A dead man was found somewhere. Am I right?" "

" "Yes and no, Chief." "

" "Where am I wrong?" "

" "Iss a dead lady, Chief.""

Things are not going well for Inspector Salvo Montalbano. His long-distance relationship with Livia is on the rocks, he feels himself getting even older and he's growing tired of the violence in his job.

Then the dead body of a young woman is found in an illegal dump, with half her face shot off. Her identity at first unknown; a tattoo of a sphinx moth on her left shoulder links her with three other girls bearing the same mark, all recent Russian immigrants to Italy. Victims of an underworld sex trade, these girls have been rescued from the Mafia night-club circuit by a Catholic charity organization. The problem is, the other girls can't help Montalbano with his enquiries. They are all missing.

As his investigations progresses, it seems that not everyone wants Montalbano to discover what really lies behind the organisation's charitable facade. And not only does Montalbano have a case to solve, he has a demanding stomach to feed, and he must save his foundering relationship with Livia . . .

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