The author digs deep into the rich artisanal soil of Sicily's wine culture, unearthing centuries-old lineage and lore while...




An Italian-American writer embeds himself in the Sicilian wine trade for a year.

Wine Spectator contributor Camuto (Corkscrewed: Adventures in the New French Wine Country, 2008) takes an intimate journey through vineyards from Marsala to Corleone and up the slopes of Mt. Etna on the island that is said to boast as many as 4,000 grape varieties. Sleeping in rustic agriturismo lodgings and enjoying foods from the nearby farms—bright green pistachios, plump olives, cassata cake filled with sheep’s-milk ricotta—the author extracts illuminating insights from both seasoned and novice winemakers, whose methodologies range from staunchly traditional to trail-blazingly controversial, revealing vivid familial lore, historical tragedies and triumphs, technical challenges in the present and innovative plans for the future of their enterprises. Whether chatting in cavernous vat rooms filled with massive clay amphorae, the back booth of a 19th-century focacceria now under anti-mafia protection or amid craggy branches on terraced vineyards, Camuto gleans illuminating nuggets of wisdom, as when third-generation winemaker Giuseppe Tasca sums up his family's ethos: “My grandfather understood that you make wine in the vineyard…not in the winery.” Though other books offer in-depth portraits of Sicilian winemakers and their product—including Kate Singleton’s Wines of Sicily (2004) and Carlo Gambi’s photographic Journey Among the Great Wines of Sicily (2008)—by coexisting with his subject through four contiguous seasons, Camuto captures an intimate family album that eloquently details the idiosyncrasies, charisma and drive of Sicilian winemakers today.

The author digs deep into the rich artisanal soil of Sicily's wine culture, unearthing centuries-old lineage and lore while closely studying villages, vintages, vintners, vats and a few intriguing vendettas.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-8032-2813-9

Page Count: 312

Publisher: Univ. of Nebraska

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2010

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Possibly inspired by the letters Cleary has received as a children's author, this begins with second-grader Leigh Botts' misspelled fan letter to Mr. Henshaw, whose fictitious book itself derives from the old take-off title Forty Ways W. Amuse a Dog. Soon Leigh is in sixth grade and bombarding his still-favorite author with a list of questions to be answered and returned by "next Friday," the day his author report is due. Leigh is disgruntled when Mr. Henshaw's answer comes late, and accompanied by a set of questions for Leigh to answer. He threatens not to, but as "Mom keeps nagging me about your dumb old questions" he finally gets the job done—and through his answers Mr. Henshaw and readers learn that Leigh considers himself "the mediumest boy in school," that his parents have split up, and that he dreams of his truck-driver dad driving him to school "hauling a forty-foot reefer, which would make his outfit add up to eighteen wheels altogether. . . . I guess I wouldn't seem so medium then." Soon Mr. Henshaw recommends keeping a diary (at least partly to get Leigh off his own back) and so the real letters to Mr. Henshaw taper off, with "pretend," unmailed letters (the diary) taking over. . . until Leigh can write "I don't have to pretend to write to Mr. Henshaw anymore. I have learned to say what I think on a piece of paper." Meanwhile Mr. Henshaw offers writing tips, and Leigh, struggling with a story for a school contest, concludes "I think you're right. Maybe I am not ready to write a story." Instead he writes a "true story" about a truck haul with his father in Leigh's real past, and this wins praise from "a real live author" Leigh meets through the school program. Mr. Henshaw has also advised that "a character in a story should solve a problem or change in some way," a standard juvenile-fiction dictum which Cleary herself applies modestly by having Leigh solve his disappearing lunch problem with a burglar-alarmed lunch box—and, more seriously, come to recognize and accept that his father can't be counted on. All of this, in Leigh's simple words, is capably and unobtrusively structured as well as valid and realistic. From the writing tips to the divorced-kid blues, however, it tends to substitute prevailing wisdom for the little jolts of recognition that made the Ramona books so rewarding.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 1983

ISBN: 143511096X

Page Count: 133

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1983

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