|Carmelo Militano||Sebastiano's Vine|
Sebastiano’s Vine is both a gritty urban story and a fresh re-telling of the immigrant experience. The novella moves back and forth in time as Michael Filo seeks to understand himself, revisits his childhood betrayal and guilt, and the curse of an ancient family wine made from a discovered grape in a once forgotten patch of land. The wine, the history of his family, the city of Winnipeg in the 60’s, and the large social forces of history (the Winnipeg General strike of 1919, the Calbarian earthquake of 1783, The Second World War) intermingle with the small gestures of family life as Michael seeks to understand his troubled past and lost love for Licia. Composed like a mosaic, the individual tiles or scenes come together to create a moving mediation on family, friendship and love, and a humorous retelling of history.
Sebastiano’s Vine is a beautifully written story of love and passion played out through generations in Italy, Greece, and Winnipeg. The star-crossed lovers of the story meet and love and part endlessly. Militano evokes the sunlit glory of Calabria and the daily life of Winnipeg and all its frozen winters with an amazing array of detail. Ancient vendettas act out their consequences in the new world. And over everything hovers a mysterious wine that brings on strange emotions in a magical realist world ruled by the ancient sorceress Morgan Le Fay. This is brilliant and compelling writing.
Carmelo Militano is a Winnipeg poet and writer. He was born in the village of Cosoleto in Italy and immigrated to Canada at an early age with his parents. He worked as a CBC Radio One journalist and broadcaster before returning to poetry. He won the 2004 F.G. Bressani award for his collection Ariadne’s Thread ( Olive Press, 2004). He has since published The Minotaur’s Keys, a chapbook, the collected poems Feast Days and another chapbook Weather Reports which was short-listed in 2012 for the Bressani poetry award. His prose includes the travelogue and family memoir The Fate of Olives (Olive Press, 2006). He reluctantly gave up chicken and hog farming for literature.
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