Silvana La Spina: a few hints about her life and works
Silvana La Spina was born in Padua to a father from Sicily and a mother from Veneto. She published the collection of tales entitled Scirocco and several novels: Morte a Palermo (La Tartaruga 1987, Baldini & Castoldi 1999; premio Mondello), L’ultimo treno da Catania (Bompiani 1992), Quando Marte è in Capricorno (Bompiani 1994), Un inganno dei sensi malizioso (Mondadori 1995), L’amante del paradiso (Mondadori 1997), Penelope (La Tartaruga 1998), La creata Antonia (Mondadori 2001), La continentale (Mondadori 2014). Sempre per Mondadori sono usciti i tre romanzi dedicati alle indagini del commissario Maria Laura Gangemi: Uno sbirro femmina (2007), La bambina pericolosa (2008) e Un cadavere eccellente (2011).
Her latest novel " L'uomo che veniva da Messina" - summed up from the review published in http://www.giunti.it/libri/narrativa/l-uomo-che-veniva-da-Messina/
" L'uomo che veniva da Messina" is a real masterpiece, since the writer managed to successfully portray a great talented painter who had never enjoyed such popularity and fame in his wretched existence
It is set in Messina in 1479- a man is dying in his home, after months of wandering around with a coffin containing a young woman. He is Antonello da Messina, the famous Sicilian painter, who has just come back from Venice, hit by the plague. He is well-known, but Sicily doesn't acknowledge his most-gifted offsprings and Antonello knows that. For this reason,he beseeches his old master Colantonio in his last frantic moments. That delirium makes him recall his miserable chidhood and his acquaintance with the mysterious artists of Trionfo della Morte; he starts remembering his stay in Mantua, in Bruges, where he falls in love and learns the tricks of oil-painting, and, later, in Venice, where he finally finds fame and glory. However throughout his travels, only Grief, Van Eych's bastard daughter will be his light and oil- painting will be his obsession.
The novel is a portrait of that age, marked by the thirst for glory and dominated by the Angel of Death