ON PERSEPHONE’S ISLAND BY MARY TAYLOR SIMETI
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A celebration of the Mediterranean island both the author Mary Taylor Simeti and the Greek goddess of the harvest call home.
A year in the life of glorious Sicily: its seasons and its sacred festivals, its almonds and orange and demanding family life, its casual assassinations and village feasts, its weather and its people.
The American Mary Taylor Simeti arrived on the island after college to work as a volunteer on Danilo Dolci’s remarkable social welfare programme, but went on to marry and make her life here. On Persephone’s Island chronicles a life divided between an apartment in the city of Palermo and weekends and the summer devoted to sustaining life on an old family farm. It is written by a fascinated outsider, but with the intimacy of an insider: wife to a Sicilian, mother to two Sicilian teenagers, gardener, cook and carer for a suspicious mother-in-law.
On Persephone’s Island: A Sicilian Journey by Mary Taylor Simeti
ISBN: 978-1-78060- 107-6
Format: 320 pp Paperback
Thirty-three years ago, John Hatt set up as a publisher creating ELAND BOOKS, a company born at south London. John Hatt’s Eland was the first of a wave of travel lists that emerged in the early 1980s, quickly joined by Century Travellers, the Penguin Classic Travel Library, Picador and Virago. You wouldn’t have wanted to put any money on it, but only the Eland list has endured. Nowadays, E-editions enable our books to be read in parts of the world where bookshops do not exist, but otherwise Eland continues, very much as it first started, with between two and eight new titles a year, and run from an attic. It is a classic tale of the Hare and the Tortoise, or should one say the Leopard and the Eland. For one of the defining characteristics of the Eland is that it is no good at high speeds but ‘can trot along at fourteen miles an hour indefinitely.’
‘Simeti has done a rare thing: she has written a happy book about Sicily and yet there is an undercurrent of sadness, one true to the reality of the island. – Washington Post
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