Italian author Andrea Camilleri dies | News | DW | 17.07.2019
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Italian author Andrea Camilleri dies

The Sicilian writer penned the Inspector Montalbano best-sellers. The novels were later translated to the small screen, where they became a global popularity.

Andrea Camilleri, author of the Inspector Montalbano novels, died on Wednesday at the age of 93.

The Italian's global fame was bolstered by Italian broadcaster RAI's decision to turn his books into a series that was then reproduced across Europe, Latin America and Australia.

Read more: Italian police find huge weapons stash

Camilleri was admitted to hospital last month after suffering a cardiac arrest and the same institution confirmed his death.

His books — predominantly set in his native Sicily — sold in excess of 20 million copies in Italy alone.

He produced his 100th book, "L'altro capo del filo" (The other end of the thread), in 2016 at the age 90.

Montalbano's First Case and Other Stories by Andrea Camilleri (Penguin Books)

Camilleri wrote more than 100 novels but it was for his Inspector Montalbano cases that he is best known.

However, it was for his detective novels starring detective Salvo Montalbano, based in the fictional Sicilian town of Vigàta, that he was best known.

"I don't believe there has ever been another Italian author with so many books translated into English," Harvard University Romance Languages professor Francesco Erspamer said.


The writer was famous for fusing Sicilian slang with standard Italian. "Let's say I invent one percent of the words but the rest comes from the dialect of Sicilian farmers or workers," Camilleri once said.

Camilleri, who published his first novel at 57, also had a lengthy career in movie-making and radio.

The Sicilian even took inspiration from a recent loss of sight. "I am blind, but losing my sight made all my other senses come back to life," he said in 2017.

 "They have come to the rescue. My memory has improved, and I remember more things than before with great lucidity, and I still write."

jsi/amp (AP, dpa, AFP, Reuters)

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