A Music Behind the Wall, Volume One
  • Author: Ortese, Anna Maria
  • Binding: Clothbound, sewn, jacketed
  • Pages: 160
  • Size: 5-1/2 x 8-1/2"
  • Pub. Year: 1994
  • ISBN: 0-929701-39-9
  • In Stock: Yes
Price: $20.00
Translated from the Italian by Henry Martin.
Volume One

In her lifetime, Anna Maria Ortese received virtually every major Italian literary award, and, in a career spanning six decades, her last works became Italian bestsellers. Those who have read The Iguana know what extraordinary mysteries of human conscience and compassion Ortese's writings plumb. For several years we have been planning a fuller presentation of her work, selecting twenty stories from her many collections. These are published in two volumes, translated and introduced by the distinguished editor of our Italian series, Henry Martin. The first volume contains stories ranging in style and mode from realistic to the frankly visionary. Yet there is a steadfastness and coherency to Ortese's tales, and something original and almost entirely foreign to American writing. Can it be quite simply this: a conviction, verging upon certitude, of the validity, even necessity, of coincident or converging realities? To read one of Ortese's stories, which are almost impossible to describe in ordinary terms, is to tap into an unexplained circumstance, truly a condition of suspended disbelief, and to hear a voice by turns disquieting and strangely reassuring.

"The stories demonstrate an attractive, humane voice and a magical ability to make meaning and myth of daily existence.... They make up a weird and atmospheric collection that is impossible either to summarize or to put down."
-- Booklist

Anna Maria Ortese was born in Rome on June 13, 1914, one of seven children, and grew up in southern Italy and in Tripoli. Her formal education ended at age thirteen. Her first book, Angelici dolori, was issued in 1937. In 1953 her third collection, Il mare non bagna Napoli, won the coveted...

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