By Norman Lewis
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This loving profile of an extraordinary country is based on Lewis's sixty-year fascination with all things Sicilian. From marrying the daughter of a mafioso exile in the 1930s, to his last trip to Sicily in the late 1990s, Lewis watched the island closely and returned frequently to chronicle its pleasures and its pain. His first wartime visit as a soldier led to numerous trips researching his acclaimed study of the mafia, The Honoured Society. This final portrait of the island was written when he was in his early nineties. It interweaves memories of earlier trips with descriptions of Sicily as he now found it, all pinned down with his formidable style and rasping, dry humour. It is the last work of a man described by Graham Greene as 'one of the best writers, not of any particular decade, but of our century'.