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IT2840 Italian Crime Fiction

Terms 1 and 2

Convenor: Dr Daniela Cerimonia


Formative piece 0% (700-800 words)
30% oral presentation
70%  Essay ( 2,000 – 2,500 words)


The course will introduce you to the birth and development of Italian crime fiction and analyse the way in which this foreign imported genre was reshaped and appropriated by successive generations of Italian postwar writers. The course aims at familiarising you with the theory—both foreign and Italian—of crime fiction. It also focuses on the way in which the most pressing issues that dominated Italian society in the postwar period were represented by crime writers. By the end of the course you will have an understanding of the main phases of development in Italian crime fiction and their links with European and American models and you will be able to link the developments in this genre to wider political, cultural and social changes in Italy in the postwar period.

A particular focus of the course relates to the concept of impegno, the socio-political engagement that characterises the work of many Italian crime writers.

Set texts in Italian

-        Sciascia, Leonardo, A ciascuno il suo (Milan: Adelphi, 1988)

-        Scerbanenco, Giorgio, Venere privata (Milan: Garzanti, 1998)

-        Camilleri, Andrea, La gita a Tindari (Palermo: Sellerio, 2000)

-        Lucarelli, Carlo, Almost Blue (Torino: Einaudi, 1997)

Set texts in English

-        Sciascia, Leonardo, To Each His Own (Manchester: Carcanet, 1989)

-        Scerbanenco, Giorgio, A Private Venus (Oxfordshire: Hersilia Press, 2012)

-        Camilleri, Andrea, Excursion to Tindari (London: Picador, 2006)

-        Lucarelli, Carlo, Almost Blue (London: Vintage Books, 2003)


C.Duggan, A Concise History of Italy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994)
D. Duggan, The Force of Destiny; a History of Italy since 1796 (London; New York: Allen Lane, 2007).
J. Dickie, Cosa Nostra: A History of the Sicilian Mafia (London: Hodder, 2007).
Farrell, Joseph, Leonardo Sciascia (Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press, 1995).
D. Forgacs, Italian Culture in the Industrial Era (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1990).
P. Ginsborg, Italy and its discontents: family, civil society, state 1980-2001 (London: Allen Lane, 2001). 
P. Ginsborg, A history of contemporary Italy: society and politics, 1943-1988 (London: Penguin, 1990).
G. Pieri, ‘Crime and the City in the Detective Fiction of Giorgio Scerbanenco’, in Italian Cityscapes. Culture and Urban Change in Contemporary Italy, ed. By Robert Lumley and John Foot (Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 2004), pp. 144-55.
G. Pieri, ‘Milano nera: Representing and Imagining Milan in Italian Noir and Crime Fiction’, in Italian Crime Fiction (Cardiff: Wales University Press, 2011), pp. 132-150
G. Pieri, ed., Italian Crime Fiction (Cardiff: Wales University Press, 2011)
Lucia Rinaldi, Andrea Camilleri. A companion to the Mystery Fiction (Jefferson, North Carolina and London: McFarland, 2012).

*For additional reading material information click here



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