Thursday, December 15, 2016

From The Day of the Owl

Captain Bellodi is telling the story of a doctor in a Sicilian prison who decides to remove Mafia members from permanent residence in the prison hospital, where they enjoy preferential treatment. When the prison administrators ignore his directive, the doctor appeals to higher authorities:

Leonardo Sciascia, The Day of the Owl. 1961. Trans. Arcibald Colquhoun and Arthur Oliver (New York: New York Review Books, 2003).

The Day of the Owl an excellent novella (in an occasionally awkward translation): a chain of murders, an enigmatic investigator (no first name), and what the narrator calls “the problem of the South,” a criminal enterprise whose existence cannot be officially acknowledged.

I picked up this book in June at I AM Books, an Italian-American bookstore in Boston’s North End. The New York Review Books spine caught my eye. And now I want to read more of Leonardo Sciascia. And NYRB has four more Sciascia titles in print.

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