Conversation modarated by Peter Jones, Chair of the BIS.

Leonardo Sciascia was a Sicilian writer who defined his life by challenging injustice and illegal power wherever he saw it – among corrupt politicians in Palermo and Rome and above all in the mafia and its collusion with the state. The author of some 12 books – fiction, non fiction, poetry, essays – and a vast amount of journalism, he is one of Italy’s best known and best loved 20th century writers. His famous expose of the mafia – The Day of the Owl – in 1961 is accepted to have been the first time it was written about in fiction as a criminal organisation and not folklore. It has sold over half a million copies and been translated into many languages. As well known in Italy as Primo Levi and Natalia Ginzburg, he remains an outsider abroad – perhaps because he seldom left Sicily and spent much of his time in a small house not far from Agrigento. Sciascia died in 1989, having been involved in polemics over everything from the kidnapping of Aldo Moro to the work of the crusading anti mafia magistrates, Falcone and Borsellino.

Caroline Moorhead is a historian and biographer; author of lives of Betrand Russell, Heinrich Schliemann, Martha Gellhorn, Mme de la Tour du Pin. Her latest books are A House in the Mountains, Edda Mussolini: the Most Dangerous Woman in Europe and A Man of Honour: Leonardo Sciascia and His Battle Against the Mafia which will be published in 2025. She reviews for the TLS, Guardian, Wall Street Journal and has co-produced a series of programmes about human rights for the BBC.


A drinks reception will follow the talk


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Monday 07 October 2024

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