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The Four Corners of Palermo: A Novel
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Published:
Other Press 2014
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Description
A noir and sensual page-turner that cracks open the Mafia's secret world through the stories of four livesPalermo in the 1980s is a perfect place for a young crime reporter to get his start. The Sicilian Mafia is at work, threatening, wounding, and killing anyone who dares to defy their orders. Our protagonist is himself no angel, hardly compassionate, a bit macho and egocentric, but candid in his recounting of what has unfolded in front of his eyes both on the job and in his private life.Di Piazza, who is also a Sicilian journalist, tells his stories as if he were reporting actual events. His description of the tense bravado of a youth growing up in the midst of Mafia terror is strikingly acute.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
10/21/2014
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781590516669
ASIN:
B00JYVYVDS
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Giuseppe Di Piazza. (2014). The Four Corners of Palermo: A Novel. Other Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Giuseppe Di Piazza. 2014. The Four Corners of Palermo: A Novel. Other Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Giuseppe Di Piazza, The Four Corners of Palermo: A Novel. Other Press, 2014.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Giuseppe Di Piazza. The Four Corners of Palermo: A Novel. Other Press, 2014. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 18:23:14
Date Updated:
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      • role: Author
      • fileAs: Di Piazza, Giuseppe
      • bioText: Guiseppe Di Piazza began his career in journalism in 1979 with the newspaper L'Ora. He has worked for such Italian publications as Sette, where he was Director, and for Max as Editor-in-Chief. He teaches a Masters course in journalism at the IULM University of Milan and is currently an editorial director at Correire della Sera. THE FOUR CORNERS OF PALERMO is his first novel and his English debut.

        Antony Shugaar is an author and translator. His most recent translations include AS IT IS ON EARTH by Davide Enia, A Pimp's Notes by Giorgio Faletti, Swimming to Elba by Silvia Avallone, Romanzo Criminale by Giancarlo De Cataldo, and Story of My People by Edoardo Nesi (Other Press). The author lives in Milan, Italy.
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shortDescription
A noir and sensual page-turner that cracks open the Mafia's secret world through the stories of four lives

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Di Piazza, who is also a Sicilian journalist, tells his stories as if he were reporting actual events. His description of the tense bravado of a youth growing up in the midst of Mafia terror is strikingly acute.
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title
The Four Corners of Palermo
fullDescription
A noir and sensual page-turner that cracks open the Mafia's secret world through the stories of four lives

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Di Piazza, who is also a Sicilian journalist, tells his stories as if he were reporting actual events. His description of the tense bravado of a youth growing up in the midst of Mafia terror is strikingly acute.
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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Booklist (starred review)
      • content: "Lyrical, philosophical writing."
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly
      • content: "Amusing and tragic...[Di Piazza's] first foray into fiction is compelling and raw."
      • premium: False
      • source: NPR.org
      • content: "Di Piazza gives us a terrific portrayal of the brutality of the Mafia."
      • premium: False
      • source: Ben Pastor, author of Lumen and A Dark Song of Blood
      • content: "Like its namesake the Quattro Canti, The Four Corners of Palermo shows us the many faces of a city plagued by drugs, death and the Mafia. Facing violence on a daily basis and finding escape through friends and lovers, a twenty-three year-old crime reporter tries to make sense of the dark underbelly of a city of rare beauty. As Di Piazza observes, a canto is a corner in Palermo, but 'it is also a song.'"
      • premium: False
      • source: Andrew Sean Greer, award-winning author of The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells and The Story of a Marriage
      • content: "Thrilling, terrifying, heartbreaking. A chronicle of youth, and love, in the shadow of the Palermo Mafia. Di Piazza bravely brings to life a world that most of us close our eyes to, and in the act, draws a portrait of the city as it truly is. A breathtaking book."
      • premium: False
      • source: Lisa Brackmann, bestselling author of Hour of the Rat, Rock Paper Tiger, and Getaway
      • content: "I read to be transported, and Giuseppe di Piazza's The Four Corners of Palermo did just that, to 1980s Sicily, in the middle of a gruesome Mafia war. What I didn't expect was the sensuality of the writing, the lush descriptions of landscape, food, the young journalist's loves and lusts, the ocean salt and the stark blue sky, juxtaposed against a dark carnival of violence and revenge."
      • premium: False
      • source: Corriere della Sera
      • content: "Di Piazza recounts the people and the lives destroyed by violence with felicitous accuracy in his selection of details and psychological motivations, but he also gives us a vivid portrait of Palermo, lovely at times, like a postcard, with that climate, that light, that blue sea, and at other times a monstrous, alien city."
      • premium: False
      • source: Giornale di Sicilia
      • content: "A book written in two registers: on the one hand, pure noir, dramatically bound up with the story of Palermo, the city of a Mafia bloodbath in the 1980s, and on the other hand, a generational tale, young people chasing after their utopian dreams to the notes of Pink Floyd, King Crimson, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer."
      • premium: False
      • source: Il Messaggero
      • content: "Four nested stories, like four movements of a symphony, where the allegro, the adagio, the grave, and the scherzo continually intermingle."
      • premium: False
      • source: L'Espresso
      • content: "Written with...humor and sensitivity."
      • premium: False
      • source: Il Tempo
      • content: "Pure adrenaline."
      • premium: False
      • source: Il Sole 24 or
      • content: "In a bloody Palermo, the sexual revolution is threatened by mafia violence."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        July 28, 2014
        Four vignettes paint a rich picture of Mafia-ridden Sicily in this slim debut novel. In the first story, a 23-year-old reporter working the organized crime beat in 1980s Palermo finds himself covering the Spataros, a “dynasty that was to Cosa Nostra what the Tudors were to the English throne.” Family scion Marinello has opted out of the business, sparking a feud as dramatic as anything in Shakespeare. From there, Di Piazza follows three other characters: a French visitor, a father accused of kidnapping his children, and a woman whose father is found beheaded in a town square. The novel is at its most memorable, however, when chronicling the young reporter’s experiences. “We were living the carefree lives of people in their twenties,” he writes, “immersed in a city that was methodically going about committing suicide.” Indeed, what emerges is both amusing and tragic: a cadre of young people who spend their days documenting grisly mafia murders, and their nights in pursuit of alcohol and sex. The insights offered here were undoubtedly come by firsthand, since Di Piazza himself is a veteran journalist in Sicily. His first foray into fiction is compelling and raw.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from September 1, 2014
        Four corners has two meanings here: the Quattro Canti refers to the four corners of the two roads forming the main piazza in Palermo, with canto also meaning song, as Di Piazza points out in a note at book's end. Di Piazza excavates both meanings brilliantly in this blend of novel and memoir, pulling up relics from the second Mafia war in the 1980s that made a slaughterhouse (a term Di Piazza repeats throughout) of Palermo, and from his memories of being a twentyish crime reporter during this time. The novel is staged in Palermo and divided into four parts: each one named after a victim or a protagonist of a horrific crime that the young Di Piazza investigated. Everything intersects in these stories: Di Piazza's professional life, with its rushing to car bombings and other grisly discoveries, and his personal life, filled with girlfriends, cooking, American jazz and rock, and his reflections on love and honor, made more weighty and urgent by the bloody, hateful acts he must confront. Although the novel is focused on 1980s Palermo, Di Piazza's lyrical, philosophical writing lifts it from that particular place and time into a hard-won perspective on living. This would be an excellent companion to Roberto Saviano's nonfiction Gomorrah (2007), about Mafia wars in Naples.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2014, American Library Association.)

subtitle
A Novel
popularity
22
publisher
Other Press
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