Before Elena Ferrante there was Grazia Deledda.
When Giovanna’s husband, Costantino, is convicted of a murder he claims he did not commit, she comes under pressure from her family to divorce him and marry a wealthy landowner who has always admired her. This she does, but the new marriage is an unhappy one and Giovanna remains firmly in love with Costantino.
Following new evidence, Costantino is acquitted and returns to his home village, embarking on an affair with his former wife that seems destined to end in tragedy.
In 1926, Grazia Deledda became the first Italian woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. She was born in Sardinia and the life, people and customs of that Mediterranean island pervade her work.
Praise for Grazia Deledda
‘Before Elena Ferrante there was Grazia Deledda.’ Matt Reimann
‘Deledda belongs to more than just her own day. She does more than reproduce the temporary psychological condition of her period… what she does is to create the passionate complex of a primitive populace.’ DH Lawrence
The Nobel Prize in Literature 1926 was awarded to Grazia Deledda ‘for her idealistically inspired writings which with plastic clarity picture the life on her native island and with depth and sympathy deal with human problems in general’.