Grazia Deledda


Grazia Deledda
(1875 - 1936)


Novelist, a writer of the verismo (naturalistic) school in Italian literature, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1926.
She married very young and moved to Rome, where she lived quietly, frequently visiting her native Sardinia, the setting of most of her fiction. Almost without formal schooling, Deledda wrote her first stories at 17, based on sentimental treatment of folklore themes; but with Il vecchio della montagna (1900; "The Old Man of the Mountain") she began to write about the tragic effects of temptation and sin among primitive human beings. Her most important works are Dopo il divorzio (1902; After the Divorce, 1905); Elias Portolu (1903), the story of a mystical former convict in love with his brother's bride; Cenere (1904; Ashes, 1910), in which an illegitimate son causes his mother's suicide (Eleonora Duse starred in the film version in 1916); and La madre (1920; The Woman and the Priest, 1922; U.S. title, The Mother, 1923), the tragedy of a mother who realizes her dream of her son's becoming a priest only to see him yield to the temptations of the flesh. Deledda developed similar themes in nearly 50 other novels. Cosima, an autobiographical novel, was published posthumously in 1937.

 


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