1570 en la ciudad italiana de Ferrara. El convento de Santa Caterina está lleno de mujeres nobles que deciden casarse con Cristo, ya que no han encontrado marido. Serafina, con tan sólo 16 años de edad, es obligada por sus padres a entrar en Santa Caterina para separarla de un amor ilícito. Llena de rabia, jura escapar. La boticaria del convento, Sor Zuana, entabla amistad con Serafina, reclutándola como ayudante en el dispensario y el jardín de hierbas. Pero a pesar de los intentos de Zuana para que la muchacha ...
1570 en la ciudad italiana de Ferrara. El convento de Santa Caterina está lleno de mujeres nobles que deciden casarse con Cristo, ya que no han encontrado marido. Serafina, con tan sólo 16 años de edad, es obligada por sus padres a entrar en Santa Caterina para separarla de un amor ilícito. Llena de rabia, jura escapar. La boticaria del convento, Sor Zuana, entabla amistad con Serafina, reclutándola como ayudante en el dispensario y el jardín de hierbas. Pero a pesar de los intentos de Zuana para que la muchacha se adapte, Serafina sigue decidida a huir. La lucha constante de Serafina y su forma personal de entender la fe desafían la visión del mundo de Zuana y la estructura política de Santa Caterina. Mientras las nuevas ideas de la contrarreforma fuerzan a la Iglesia hacia el cambio, el espíritu de Serafina amenaza con arrasar todo el convento.
Ha trabajado como actriz, presentadora de radio y televisión, colaboradora en diversos medios escritos y ha editado dos libros de ensayo. Es autora de las novelas Nieve en verano (1988), Marcas de nacimiento (1991), Conflicto explosivo (1993), ganadora del premio CWA Macallan Silver Dagger, Bajo mi piel (1995), Transgressions (1997), Mapping the Edge (1999) y Amor y muerte en Florencia (2003), traducida a veintisiete idiomas. Tiene dos hijas y vive entre Londres y Florencia.
British novelist, broadcaster, and critic Sarah Dunant is well known on both sides of the pond for her bestselling series of mysteries featuring sleuth Hannah Wolfe. Other novels feature the challenging, often absurd, choices women face for love and identity.
Dunant's first two novels were actually co-authored with Peter Busby, thus creating their pseudonym, Peter Dunant. In Exterminating Angels (1983), whether they're called terrorists or modern-day Robin Hoods, the Exterminating Angels are out to set the record straight. For them, the ends always justify the means when righting the wrongs of the world. The political thriller Intensive Care (1986) describes a chance meeting at the site of an explosion in London.
The first book to be released under her own name was Snow Storms in a Hot Climate (1987), and features Marla Masterson. Marla, a young British professor of Anglo Saxon Literature goes to New York City to rescue a friend from her drug-addled, abusive boyfriend, but not before a murder mystery ensnares them all.
Three years later, Dunant introduced readers to Hannah Wolfe, a tough and witty Private Investigator. In Birth Marks (1990), Wolfe is hired to find a missing ballerina. Unfortunately, the dancer is found by the police -- eight months pregnant and at the bottom of the Thames. When everyone but Wolfe writes off the young single woman's death as a suicide, Wolfe pushes her investigation into London's dance companies and powerful Parisian families, searching for the father. Wolfe's reputation is put on the chopping block in Fatlands (1993). Wolfe finds herself on the trail of a violent animal rights activist group after they kill the daughter of a wealthy scientist for using animals in his experiments. The novel won Dunant a Silver Dagger award for Crime Fiction. Disguised as a customer, Wolfe investigates a string of sabotage at the Castle Dean health spa in Under My Skin (1995) and soon learns that, to some, beauty is something to die -- or kill -- for.
Breaking from her Hannah Wolfe series, Dunant's next release explores the line between victim and victor. In Transgressions (1997), translator Lizzie Skvorecky is making a living translating cheap Czech thrillers into English. When the strange events of the novels seem to occur in her real life, Lizzie realizes that someone -- or something -- is tampering with her reality, and accepts the violent challenge to her sanity. Kirkus reviews describes the novel as "an unsettling, often chilling, portrait of a compulsive predator and the woman who refuses to be his prey."
Mapping the Edge (1999) also portrays a woman's unusual challenges. When Anna, a single mother, takes a short vacation to Italy, leaving her six-year-old daughter with trusted friends, no one thinks twice. Until she doesn't return when scheduled. Anna's friends and her daughter endure the painful waiting while Dunant offers two explanations of Anna's disappearance. What if Anna abandoned the responsibility of motherhood to follow a hot love affair? Or perhaps Anna's life is in the hands of a sadistic killer.
Along with writing fiction, Dunant has also edited two works of non-fiction. War of the Words: The Politically Correct Debate (1994) debates the ever-changing idea of what is "acceptable" and the effect political correctness has on Liberalism. In The Age of Anxiety (1999), ten essayists discuss their anxiety -- or optimism -- for issues such as technology, family, and the end of the millennium.
Dunant's 2004 release marks her foray into historical fiction. The Birth of Venus captures the passion and the politics of deMedici Florence in the grips of a fundamentalist religious overhaul. As the city starts to purge itself of "the low and vulgar arts," the novel's heroine, Alessandra, falls in love with a young, suffering painter. Although her family marries her to a much older man, it is mostly a dismal marriage of convenience and she has a surprisingly large amount of time to spend at the side of her true love. Intelligent and daring, Duanant has combined a love story, a thriller and a historical novel in telling Alessandra's quest to find and protect her passions.
Good To Know
In our interview, Dunant shared some fun and fascinating facts about herself with us:
"I once worked as a hostess in a Japanese nightclub."
"My left foot is bigger than my right."
"I cannot whistle (no Humphrey Bogart for me, then)."
"Alas I don't have time to relax, although I am trying. The most important things in my life are my work, my children, my friends, and the possibility of a plane ticket to somewhere I have not yet been. When my kids grow up I want to have enough energy to get out a rucksack and take a long trip without a due-back-by date and the wonder to be changed by what I discover en route. Though right at this moment what I would like most is to remember where I put the car keys."
"And when it comes to writing, I just want to say that the novel is not the author. Just as the life is not the work or the work the life;instead literature is a kind of alchemy: turning lead into gold. Or at least that's the ambition."