John Hersey was born on this day in 1914

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Fictional town in Sicily from the novel, A Bell for Adano

Common clues: Hersey's bell town; "A Bell for ____"; Major Joppolo's post; Fictional Italian town; Hersey locale

Crossword puzzle frequency: once a year

Video: Clip from A Bell for Adano

A Bell for Adano is a novel by John Hersey. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1945.

A Bell for Adano is also a film directed by Henry King starring John Hodiak and Gene Tierney in (1945)

John Hersey, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1958

The novel is the story of the Italian-American U.S. Army Major Joppolo, who is placed in charge of the town of Adano during the invasion of Sicily. The title refers to Major Joppolo's attempts to replace the 700 year old bell that was taken from the town by the Fascists at the start of the war to be melted down for ammunition. Through his actions, Joppolo also wins the trust and love of the people. He transforms Adano into a democratic town.

Some of the changes Joppolo brings in to the town include:


Free fishing privilege

The freedom of mule carts

A bell from the American Navy

The short-tempered American commander, General Marvin, fires Major Joppolo from his command post in the end.

The character of Joppolo was based on the real life experiences of Frank Toscani, who was military governor of the town of Licato, Sicily after the Allied invasion.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "A Bell for Adano".