The Art of Joy: A Novel

The Art of Joy: A Novel

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Overview

The Art of Joy: A Novel by Goliarda Sapienza

The tumultuous twentieth century, told through the life of a single extraordinary woman

Rejected by a series of publishers, abandoned in a chest for twenty years, Goliarda Sapienza's masterpiece, The Art of Joy, survived a turbulent path to publication. It wasn't until 2005, when it was released in France, that this novel received the recognition it deserves. At last, Sapienza's remarkable book is available in English, in a brilliant translation by Anne Milano Appel and with an illuminating introduction by Angelo Pellegrino.
The Art of Joy centers on Modesta, a Sicilian woman born on January 1, 1900, whose strength and character are an affront to conventional morality. Impoverished as a child, Modesta believes she is destined for a better life. She is able, through grace and intelligence, to secure marriage to an aristocrat—without compromising her own deeply felt values. Friend, mother, lover—Modesta revels in upsetting the rules of her fascist, patriarchal society.
This is the history of the twentieth century, transfigured by the perspective of one extraordinary woman. Sapienza, an intriguing figure in her own right—her father homeschooled her so she wouldn't be exposed to fascist influences—was a respected actress and writer who drew on her own struggles to craft this powerful epic. A fictionalized memoir, a book of romance and adventure, a feminist text, a bildungsroman—this novel is ultimately undefinable but deeply necessary; its genius will leave readers breathless.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780374708948
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 07/30/2013
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 704
File size: 883 KB

About the Author

Goliarda Sapienza (1924–1996) was born in the Sicilian city of Catania, into a staunchly anti-fascist family. At sixteen, she moved to Rome to study at the Academy of Dramatic Arts, and during the 1950s and '60s she was an actress in both films and the theater. She worked with, among others, Luchino Visconti (in Senso) and Francesco Maselli. Her novels include Lettera aperta (1967), Il filo di mezzogiorno (1969), and L'università di Rebibbia (1983); Io, Jean Gabin (2010) and her most important work, The Art of Joy, remained unpublished until after her death.
Anne Milano Appel, PhD, a former library director and language teacher, has been translating professionally for more than fifteen years and is a member of ALTA, ATA, NCTA, and PEN. Many of her book-length translations have been published, and shorter works that she has authored or translated have appeared in other professional and literary venues.


Goliarda Sapienza (1924-1996) was born in the Sicilian city of Catania, into a staunchly anti-fascist family. At sixteen, she moved to Rome to study at the Academy of Dramatic Arts, and during the 1950s and '60s she was an actress in both films and the theater. She wrote several novels, though her most important work, The Art of Joy, remained unpublished until after her death.
Anne Milano Appel, Ph.D., a former library director and language teacher, has been translating professionally for over fifteen years, and is a member of ALTA, ATA, NCTA and PEN. Many of her book-length translations have been published, and shorter works that she has authored or translated have appeared in other professional and literary venues.

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