Uncomfortable among intellectuals, Lampedusa made little use of his literary interests until middle age when he began to give informal lectures on English poetry and prose to a small group of friends. Gradually, he became up with the idea of writing a novel that would preserve the nearly vanished world of Sicily's ancient regime. Lampedusa managed to transform what he himself saw as "a largely wasted life" into one of the most controversial and admired novels of the century.
His only other work, Racconti (Two Stories and a Memory, 1962) appeared in 1961.
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