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Isolina
     

Isolina

by Dacia Maraini, Sian Williams (Translator)
 
Creating shockwaves when first published in Italy eight years ago, this is a historical novel based on a true account of a grisly murder in turn-of-the-century Verona. In her relentless narrative based on interviews and contemporary accounts, Maraini has brought a long-submerged story of injustice and oppression to light. The fact that Isolina became pregnant by her

Overview

Creating shockwaves when first published in Italy eight years ago, this is a historical novel based on a true account of a grisly murder in turn-of-the-century Verona. In her relentless narrative based on interviews and contemporary accounts, Maraini has brought a long-submerged story of injustice and oppression to light. The fact that Isolina became pregnant by her lieutenant lover and refused to have an abortion was published in newspapers after the murder. Also known, but not reported, was the suspicion that she was probably murdered by soldiers who, protecting their comrade's reputation, tried to abort the pregnancy. The crime could easily have been solved, but evidence was destroyed by the state in efforts to defend the image of the military. Dacia Maraini is one of the best known writers in Italy. Her previous prize-winning novel, The Silent Duchess, sold 200,000 copies in Italy and was on the bestseller list for seventy weeks.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The line between fiction and nonfiction blurs-and may disappear-in this new work from esteemed Italian author Maraini (The Silent Duchess). Referencing period newspapers and other archival materials, Maraini reconstructs the events surrounding the turn-of-the-century murder and decapitation of Isolina Canuti, a young Veronese woman who had become pregnant by her lover, an army officer of noble stock. Local newspapers seized on the case, particularly the facts that Isolina may have had an abortion and that her best friend also may have been murdered. Isolina's lover finally sued one paper for libel, resulting in a celebrated court case that was in effect a murder trial as well as a posthumous referendum on Isolina's behavior. Maraini speculates on motivations and events and includes her perceptions of present-day Verona as well as her interviews with the characters' descendants. Unfortunately, the extensive use of newspaper quotes, with their factual, if biased, tone, combines with the remote voice of much of the narrative to create considerable distance from the narrative's events. Still, the story is timely in its focus on issues of journalistic integrity, sexual violence and justice. (Dec.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780720608977
Publisher:
Owen, Peter Limited
Publication date:
12/02/1994
Pages:
152
Product dimensions:
5.66(w) x 8.78(h) x 0.70(d)

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