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A fable for our times

When phylloxera destroys the vines on the Aoelian island of ‘S’, the inhabitants, forced to emigrate, blame the recently established prison colony

26 August 2023

9:00 AM

26 August 2023

9:00 AM

Lauren Aimee Curtis, born in Sydney and recently named one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists, sets her intriguing second book on the Aeolian island of Salina in the late 19th century, when the arrival of phylloxera destroyed the island’s vines and economy, prompting mass emigration. These facts are easy to deduce, especially with the clarification provided in the author’s note, but in the novel itself Curtis names the island ‘S’ and the time becomes ‘that spring, when the men arrived’.

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