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A Novel

Steven Price


Lampedusa Download image

ISBN10: 1250757940
ISBN13: 9781250757944

Trade Paperback

336 Pages


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Shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize Shortlist

Set in a sun-drenched Sicily, among the decadent Italian aristocracy of the late 1950s, Steven Price’s Lampedusa explores the final years of Giuseppe Tomasi, the last prince of Lampedusa, as he struggles to complete his only novel, The Leopard.

In 1955, Tomasi was diagnosed with advanced emphysema; shortly after, he began work on a novel that would fail to be published before his death four years later. When The Leopard at last appeared, it won Italy’s Strega Prize and became the greatest Italian novel of the century.

Adhering intensely to the facts of Tomasi's life but moving deep into the mind of the author, Lampedusa inhabits the complicated interior of a man facing down the end of his life and struggling to make something of lasting worth while there is still time.


Praise for Lampedusa

“[Steven Price’s] prose is superbly controlled, richly textured, brimming with wise and lyrical insights that make it a worthy heir to its mighty predecessor.”—Joseph Luzzi, The New York Times Book Review

"Wonderful as the passages about the writing of The Leopard are, the deeper story in Lampedusa is about a dying man reckoning with his life . . . an unsparing yet tender portrait that makes Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa as compelling as his great novel."Wendy Smith, The Washington Post

"Lampedusa is a beautiful novel, lyrical and wise."—David Gilmour, The Financial Times

“A lyrical and sensitive portrait of a man nearing the end of his life.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Price’s imaginative reconstruction of Tomasi’s work avoids hagiography and humanizes a literary master, while also depicting the agony and urgency of writing.”Booklist

“Price vividly recreates an Italy transitioning from postwar austerity to the beginnings of La Dolce Vita, juxtaposing crumbling palazzos with sleek, supercharged sports cars . . . Readers will savor this rich look at Italian history.”Publishers Weekly


Read an Excerpt



In his smaller library he kept a broken white rock, like a twist of coral, taken by a sugar merchant from the natural harbour at Lampedusa. In the afternoons he would hold that rock to the sunlight...

About the author

Steven Price

Steven Price is the author of By Gaslight. His first collection of poems, Anatomy of Keys, won Canada's 2007 Gerald Lampert Award for Best First Collection, was short-listed for the BC Poetry Prize, and was named a Globe and Mail Book of the Year. His first novel, Into That Darkness, was short-listed for the 2012 BC Fiction Prize. His second collection of poems, Omens in the Year of the Ox, won the 2013 ReLit Award. He lives in Victoria, British Columbia, with his family.

Steven Price