SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2019 SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE
From the #1 nationally bestselling author of By Gaslight, a novel of exquisite emotional force about love and art in the life of one of the great writers, reminiscent of Colm Tóibín's The Master, or Michael Cunningham's The Hours.
In sun-drenched Sicily, among the decadent Italian aristocracy of the late 1950s, Giuseppe Tomasi, the last prince of Lampedusa, struggles to complete the novel that will be his lasting legacy, The Leopard. With a firm devotion to the historical record, Lampedusa leaps effortlessly into the mind of the writer and inhabits the complicated heart of a man facing down the end of his life, struggling to make something of lasting worth, while there is still time.
Achingly beautiful and elegantly conceived, Steven Price's new novel is an intensely moving story of one man's awakening to the possibilities of life, intimately woven against the transformative power of a great work of art.
STEVEN PRICE is the author of two novels, By Gaslight (2016), longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and Into That Darkness (2011). Also an acclaimed poet, he has written two award-winning poetry books, Anatomy of Keys (2006), winner of the Gerald Lampert Award, and Omens in the Year of the Ox (2012), winner of the ReLit Award. He lives in Victoria, B.C.
Shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize
"Lampedusa is a fairy tale about a dying prince, the last of his line, the real-life Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, author of the beloved Italian novel The Leopard. Steven Price powerfully imagines Tomasi’s final days as the ailing author struggles to complete and publish his treasured manuscript. Set in a post war Palermo of bombed-out buildings and ruined palazzos, the novel contemplates what values are worth retaining in life and in art. A masterful storyteller, Price conjures Tomasi with language and images that evocatively fix him and his distant world indelibly in our minds."—Jury Citation, Scotiabank Giller Prize
“Memories nest within one another and the speculative inner narrative that Lampedusa posits, rich with delicacy of feeling and observations peppered with references to Stendhal, Tennyson, Montaigne, and Shakespeare, is more than credible. But what’s more striking than the biographical accuracy or even the intricate scaffolding of the story is the texture of images by Price, also a poet. Their beauty casts the same spell as his sensualist subject and the unhurried pleasure of experiencing them.” —Nathalie Atkinson, Globe and Mail
"Lampedusa is one of the most powerful depictions of the creative act, and its roots in the wounds of the soul, that a reader is likely to encounter. . . . Lampedusa is a marvel, a strange, wonderful, and utterly unforgettable book." —Toronto Star
"Price’s novel excels where it counts most: inside Lampedusa’s head. The prose is superbly controlled, richly textured, brimming with wise and lyrical insights that make it a worthy heir to its mighty predecessor." —New York Times
“Price vividly recreates an Italy transitioning from postwar austerity to the beginnings of La Dolce Vita, juxtaposing crumbling palazzos with sleek, supercharged sports cars. Price makes Lampedusa as compelling a figure as Lampedusa’s hero, Prince Don Fabrizio Salina. Readers will savor this rich look at Italian history.” —Publishers Weekly