Silent Duchess

ISBN-10: 155861222X
ISBN-13: 9781558612228
Edition: 2000
List price: $16.95 Buy it from $3.00
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Description: Acirc; Acirc; Acirc; Winner of the Premio Campiello (Italy's equivalent of the National Book Award), short-listed for the Independent Foreign Fiction Award upon its first English-language publication in the U.K., and published to critical acclaim in  More...

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Book details

List price: $16.95
Copyright year: 2000
Publisher: Feminist Press at The City University of New York
Publication date: 1/1/2000
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 264
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.836
Language: English

Acirc; Acirc; Acirc; Winner of the Premio Campiello (Italy's equivalent of the National Book Award), short-listed for the Independent Foreign Fiction Award upon its first English-language publication in the U.K., and published to critical acclaim in fourteen languages, this mesmerizing historical novel by one of Italy's premier women writers is available in the United States for the first time. Set in Sicily in the early eighteenth century, The Silent Duchess is the story of Marianna Ucria, the daughter of an aristocratic family and the victim of a mysterious childhood trauma that has left her deaf and mute, trapped in a world of silence. Set apart from the world by her disability, Marianna searches for knowledge and fulfillment in a society where women face either forced marriages and endless childbearing or a life of renunciation within the walls of a convent. When she is just thirteen years old, Marianna is forced to marry her own aging uncle. Her status and wealth as a duchess cannot protect her from many of the horrors of that time: she witnesses her mother's decline due to her addiction to opium and snuff and her father's cruelly misguided religious piety as he participates in the hanging of a young boy. She watches helplessly as her four-year-old son dies of smallpox and her youngest daughter is married off at the age of twelve. It is not until the death of her "uncle-husband" that Marianna at last gains freedom from her life of subservience: she learns to manage her estates and to love a man as she had never loved her husband, and she also learns of the unspeakable events that led to her lifelong silence. In luminous language that conveys both the keen visual sight and the deep human insight possessed by her remarkable main character, Dacia Maraini captures the splendor and the corruption of Marianna's world and the strength of her spirit. The Silent Duchess is the timeless story of one woman's struggle to find her own voice after years of silence. Acirc; The publication in America of The Silent Duchess is cause for rejoicing.-Publishers Weekly "a carefully paced story of intellectual and moral growth."-Kirkus "Maraini's writing is elegant, and her graphic descriptions of the luxurious life of the aristocracy in sharp contrast to the squalor of the majority living in poverty are quite realistic. . . . Recommended. . . wherever foreign authors are popular."- Library Journal Suggested for course use in: Fiction Comparative literature Italian literature One of Italy's foremost women writers, Dacia Maraini is the winner of the international Prix Formentor and the Premio Campiello, one of Italy's highest literary honors. She is the author of more than fifty books, including novels, plays, collections of poetry, and critical essays.

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