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by Edward W. Said
Publishing’s abiding obsession with fresh voices ignores a curious fact about our current literary scene: a startling number of the finest writers at work today are not twentysomethings; they’re eightysomethings.
One indisputable factor that deprived us of more opportunities to luxuriate in Lampedusa’s gifts was a diagnosis of lung cancer at the age of 60. The diagnosis came just a few months after he finished the novel, two publisher rejections already in hand, a third which would arrive weeks before he died in July of that year.