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Woman of Rome

A Life of Elsa Morante

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


The first biography in any language of one of the most celebrated Italian writers of the twentieth century.

Born in 1912 to an unconventional family of modest means, Elsa Morante grew up with an independent spirit, a formidable will, and an unshakable commitment to writing. Forced to hide from the Fascists during World War II in a remote mountain hut with her husband, renowned author Alberto Moravia, she re-emerged at war's end to take her place among the premier Italian writers of her day. When Rome was film capital of the world, she counted Pasolini, Visconti, and the young Bertolucci among her circle of friends. She was charismatic, beautiful, and fiercely intelligent; her marriage, a passionate union of literary giants, captivated a nation; her love affairs were intense and often tragic. And until now few Americans have known of this remarkable woman and her powerful, original talent.

From Publishers Weekly

14 April 2008 – A National Book Award–winning novelist applies her skills to nonfictionWoman of Rome: A Life of Elsa MoranteLily Tuck. HarperCollins, (272p) Novelist Elsa Morante and the city she symbolized come alive in this warm, sprightly literary biography. Novelist Tuck (The News from Paraguay) surveys Morante’s life: her troubled relationship with an unstable mother; her salad days writing magazine pieces along with having to occasionally resort to prostitution to make a living; World War II, when she and husband, Alberto Moravia, both half-Jewish, hid out from Fascist persecution in a mountain village; her postwar dolce vita immersed in friendships, affairs and dinner-table debates with Rome’s glitterati. Morante emerges as a complex, vibrant character—difficult, mercurial and fiercely (often rudely) devoted to truth-telling, but also kindhearted and charismatic. Tuck ties the biographical details—and analyses of her subject’s dreams and handwriting—to sympathetic but critical analyses of Morante’s protean works, which include the hothouse melodrama of House of Liars, the darkly beguiling Huckleberry Finn fable of Arturo’s Island and the pitiless meditation on force and corruption of her bestselling History. Tuck sets the life in a colorful evocation of Morante’s milieu, enlivened by her own youthful reminiscences of Italy’s postwar film scene, that makes the book a love letter to Rome as well as to her subject. Photos.
Woman of Rome
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  • £5.49
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biography
  • Published: 06 October 2009
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books
  • Print Length: 288 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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