Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s brief but brilliant writing career lasted a mere two years before he succumbed to lung cancer. In that time he produced one novel (The Leopard), three stories, and the beginning of a memoir, Places of my Infancy – a “tour” of Lampedusa’s family estates in Sicily at the turn of 20thcentury. “For me childhood was a lost paradise,” writes Lampedusa. “I was king of the home.” Lampedusa gives lush, intimate descriptions of the estates in town and country: the home with its one hundred rooms, its garden with fountains full of eels, its church, its theater where wandering “country” theater groups would perform, the maids and the groundskeepers, and Lampedusa’s own family members. Each detail – from his mother’s silver comb to his father’s camera (owned “in 1900!”) unlocks a memory of some event from the era.
Places of My Infancy
New Directions Publishing Corporation