Calleja was born in 1915 on Gozo, the second largest island in the Maltese archipelago, and has witnessed the vast changes in the society during the 20th century, first from the perspective of her large farm family and later as a teacher and headmistress. Ethnographer Galley began interviewing her in 1987, and supports Celleja's narrative with scholarly apparatus. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.
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The humdrum details of the everyday life of a quiet, retired headmistress born in 1915 on a farm on Gozo--the second largest island of the Maltese archipelago--might be of interest for the unfamiliar setting. But in this transcription of lengthy and largely unedited interviews with her friend, ethnologist Galley (director of research at the National Center for Scientific Research in Paris) reveals little to differentiate life on Gozo from anywhere else. Although it was unusual that her father insisted on an education for his daughter, Calleja comes through as a conventional person without an inquiring mind or much insight into her culture. She discusses her father's emigration to Australia in search of a job, his return and his death, gives details of her daily life as a spinster dedicated to her mother, brother and teaching jobs, and talks about church socials, chores and neighbors. Galley's too-brief afterword sketches the island's history under Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, Normans, Germans, French, Spaniards, Italians and the Hospitaler Order of St. John of Jerusalem, without referring to their imprint on the culture.
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Book Description Utah State University Press, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0874211697