by Grazia Deledda

KING’S crisp and clear..... Grazia Deledda is one of the most important women writers of the twentieth century.... [This] translation will go far in helping redress the neglect of an important feminine voice in twentieth-century narrative.” (Italica, AATI)

...a unique and supremely satisfying portrait of the artist as a young girl. (Belles Lettres)

This autobiographical novel sets forth a young girl’s struggle to break family and village traditions, become educated, and be a writer. (Ms.)

“Surely, in a time when the most obscure female novelist may be instantly catapulted to canonical status on the strength of her sex and previous obscurity, a writer of the emotional power of Grazia Deledda is overdue for literary resurrection.... It is easy to be the bluntness of Deledda’s characters’ emotions, the harshness of their lives, their rawness and violence, sometimes their downright weirdness – or as they say in the academy nowadays, “otherness.”... Most of the strangeness in [Deledda’s] books does not arise from local color. The strangeness that counts is that of the gnarled, interrupted passions of family life. Rarely are her stories wrapped in impressionist gauze, and for all the folkloric gaudiness, the family patterns are recognizable. Intense bonds are ready-made to break.... There is frequently a biblical quality to Deledda’s prose.... It is hard not to feel, when reading her, that whatever the particularities of late 19th Century Sardinians, her readers are getting close to some pure ore of human emotion.”
(Todd Gitlin, Chicago Sunday Tribune, Sept. 20, 1998)

Listed in 500 Great Books by Women: A Reader’s Guide by Erica Bauermeister, Jesse Larsen and Holly Smith.

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