Christine de Pizan

Christine de Pizan
The Writer Christine de Pizan at Her Desk

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Grazia Deledda, "The Voice of Sardinia"

Grazia Deledda (born 27 September 1871)


Born in Nuoro, Sardinia, Grazia Maria Cosima Damiana Deledda ended her formal education by the time she was eleven--but after her schooling ended, she was tutored by a local teacher and, on her own, read widely in Italian, Russian, French, and English literature, and she studied the people around her. As she later wrote, her father frequently invited guests into their home: "[w]hen these friends and their families had to come to Nuoro on business or for religious holidays, they usually stayed at our house. Thus I began to know the various characters of my novels."

Grazia Deledda's Nobel portrait
She began publishing stories and poems when she was just thirteen, much to the dismay--and opposition--of her family and the inhabitants of Nuoro. She published her first novel, Fior di Sardegna (Flower of Sardinia), in 1892. 

After she married, Deledda moved to Rome with her husband, where she remained for the rest of her life. She died there on 15 August 1936.

Grazia Deledda was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1926 (awarded in 1927) and is the only Italian woman, to date, to have won this international recognition.

Margaret Kern's excellent biographical essay on Deledda is available here, from the Italian Women Writers website. At the same site is an amazing array of digitized works by Deledda.

You can find biographical information, the presentation speech, a brief documentary, a short story, and a host of other information at the Nobel Prize website by clicking here.

Happily, many of her works have been translated into English and are accessible and affordable.