Wednesday, November 16, 2011

John Keahey

John Keahey is a veteran journalist who worked for wire services and newspapers for 35 years and 15 years in the corporate public-relations world. He has history and marketing degrees from the University of Utah and spends as much time as possible in Italy and Sicily. He lives in Salt Lake City with book designer Connie Disney.

His new book is Seeking Sicily: A Cultural Journey Through Myth and Reality in the Heart of the Mediterranean.

Earlier this month I asked Keahey what he was reading. His reply:
Now that my research is over for Seeking Sicily, I am pulling books out of a row on my shelf devoted to Italian and Sicilian writers whom I have be forced to ignore for more than 2-1/2 years. I just finished Dacia Maraini's Train to Budapest, a heartbreaking story about a young woman's search, in 1956 and more than ten years after World War II, for a male childhood playmate from Florence who disappeared into the Holocaust. It is a magnificent book, emotionally hard to read at times, but one that explores the impact of the war and the Holocaust on the survivors. In the midst of this story, she gets caught up in the Hungarian revolt against the Soviets in Budapest. The research of Maraini, who is half Sicilian and half Florentine and one of Italy's greatest living writers, is impeccable. The book is a history lesson wrapped in an emotional fabric that messes with the emotions but is difficult to put down.

For lighter fare, after reading heavy books such as those by Leonardo Sciascia and Maraini, I quickly read a selection from Andrea Camilleri's Montalbano mystery series, which I find absolutely delightful. Reading these has given me a window into the Sicilian mindset and allows me a glimpse into how Sicilians really are different from Italians.
Visit John Keahey's website.

--Marshal Zeringue