IN 1981 Annie Messina took the pseudonym Gamîla Ghâli, fearing the uproar this novel would cause, and leaving it to her friend, Leonardo Sciascia, to introduce Ghâli to the Italian reading public. Annie Messina brings both her Sicilian heritage and her years of living in Egypt to bear on this orientalizing fiction.
A review of The Myrtle and the Rose in Le Monde places Messina alongside Marguerite Yourcenar, Mary Renault and Mari Mori, women who wove novels about the passions of men. The reviewer describes this novel as one “long variation on the theme [‘each man kills the thing he loves’], presented as a fable.... We find in this little marvel, by turns, the abstract and conceptual tone of a moralist and the provocative fantasy of a sly storyteller.”
Paperback, 160 pp.