Malte: Small Mediterranean Library
babelmed - 21/10/2003
Here’s a list of some of the fascinating books that will introduce you to a Malta that you won’t see in the tourist brochures. There’s also where you can find books, videos and other material about Malta.
Here are the websites of four different Maltese publishers and booksellers.
A.C. Aquilina & Co.
A series of articles about theatre, literature, and other aspects of Maltese culture written by experts in the field is available at Malta. An Intimate Survey
David H. Trump, Malta Pre-history and Temples, photography by Daniel Cilia.
This new book by David H. Trump published in 2002 has 320 pages packed with the most updated information, colour photography and reconstructed illustrations prepared by a team of international illustrators and with photography by Daniel Cilia. The book features a detailed visual treatment of 30 key sites, with photography, artwork and maps and a pictorial record of all the temples, hypogea, other sites and artefacts, with more than 300 photographs and illustrations, in full colour.
The Maltese Language
Here are some of the best books you can get to learn Maltese or to learn about Maltese.
Antoinette Camilleri, Merħba Bik: A course in Maltese for foreigners
Lydia Schriha, Beginning Maltese
Joseph Vella, Learn Maltese. Why not? (plus Workbook)
Lydia Sciriha and Mario Vassallo, Malta, A linguistic landscape
If you want to know more on this subject, go to Maltese Language
Maltese Social History One of the best concise histories of Malta is by Carmel Cassar and it is called just that: A Concise History of Malta (2000), published by Mireva (Malta).
Two fascinating books about Maltese social history are the following:
Carmel Cassar, Society, Culture and Identity in Early Modern Malta, Mireva, 2000.
Frans Ciappara, Society and the Inquisition in Early Modern Malta, PEG, 2001.
Most Maltese literature is published in Maltese. Some writers, most notably Francis Ebejer, have written in both Maltese and English. Very few of the best-known Maltese works of literature have been translated into English (or Italian). One important exception is poet, novelist and critic Oliver Friggieri. You should be able to find some of Friggieri’s works in different languages, mainly English, Italian and French. Anton Buttigieg, Victor Fenech and Daniel Massa have published poetry in Maltese and English also.
One of the best places to find such books is Mireva bookshop, near the old entrance to the University of Malta. Try also Indigo Bookshops or Agenda, either in or near the University. But try also Merlin Library in Blata l-Bajda, Books, etc. in Bisazza Street, Sliema, Sapienza in Republic Street, Valletta, and the extraordinary Island Books in Mosta (look up the telephone number in the Maltese telephone Directory).
Crosswinds (1980) is one of the few anthologies of poetry in Maltese translated into English after Independence (1964). This volume was edited by Oliver Friggieri.
Francis Ebejer is probably the best-known writer of Maltese novels and plays in English.
Dutch anthropologist Jeremy Boissevain, A Village in Malta and Saints and Fireworks. He has also edited an interesting volume called Coping with Tourists: European Reactions to Mass Tourism (Berghahn, 1996) which includes an introduction by himself and an article by Annabel Black on the Maltese northern village of Mellieħa.
The volume The Maltese Islands on the Move. A Mosaic of Contributions Marking Malta’s Entry into the 21st Century published by the Central Office of Statistics (2000) includes papers by a number of leading experts from various fields, including Jeremy Boissevain, Edward Mallia, John Schembri, Frances Camilleri and Mary Darmanin. See also Maltese Society. A Sociological Inquiry, edited by Godfrey Baldacchino and Ronald Sultana (Mireva, 1994).
The Malta Tourism Authority, the Works Division and the Ministry for Gozo have teamed up to produce a series of excellent booklets giving a practical guide for Countryside Walks in Malta and Gozo. Not many people know about these elegant publications. I found them at Merlin Library in Blata l-Bajda, but I’m sure they’re available at many important bookstores. Adrian Grima