Vincent Panella


Cutter’s Island

Novel, 2000

This is a revenge tale based on a little known event in the life of Julius Caesar. When he was twenty five, Caesar was captured by pirates and held on an island for forty days. The story of Caesar’s liberation and revenge is briefly summarized by historians, but Cutter’s Island is a retelling in Caesar’s voice and in the context of his world.


Praise for Cutter’s Island

Cutter’s Island is a perfect, flawless gem, without a false note anywhere. In prose as spare as Caesar’s own, Mr. Panella makes surfaces reflect surfaces, with the sense of bottomless depths beneath. He packs more between the lines, and between chapters, than most writers deliver in books and books.

– Steven Pressfield, author of Gates of Fire


…written in a pithy, vigorous prose reminiscent of Caesar’s classic style, Cutter’s Island summons up the violence, danger, and intrigue of the Roman world, investing events long past with a fresh sense of immediacy. Read Full Review

– Los Angeles Times


“It is like an epic poem. There is great complexity to the characters, which doesn’t always happen in historical fiction.” Read Full Review

Charles Hix, Publisher’s Weekly

…the world was different then. If you want to find out how different and read a fact-based adventure story that puts breath and blood into ancient history, read Cutter’s Island.

Unlike many writers of historical fiction, the author doesn’t overburden his prose with period detail. Instead, through concise description and subtle inference, he allows the reader to construct the past in his her own mind. It’s not so much what he puts in but what he carefully leaves out. Caesar is the story’s narrator and his style in undeniably modern, but even so there are no anachronisms, no jarring notes. The reader is not cajoled, but lulled backwards in time.

– Barre-Montpelier Times-Argus.

The Other Side: Growing up Italian in America

The Other Side is Vincent Panella’s personal journey, from rejection of his family to a realization that he cannot escape or deny his origins. 

Lost Hearts

The twenty-three stories in Lost Hearts comprise a rich and candid account of growing up and growing old in Sicily and America.

Sicilian Dreams – Coming in 2020

In 1907 Santo Regina immigrates after becoming disillusioned with an unsuccessful land reform movement incited by Vito Cascio Ferro, a figure historians describe as rabble rouser, bandit, and a member of the Black Hand – precursors to the Mafia. Once in America Santo becomes entangled with Cascio Ferro and his arch rival, Detective Joseph Petrosino of New York’s famous Italian Squad, hired to root out the Black Hand, whose victims are mostly Italian immigrants.

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