A Music Behind the Wall, Volume Two
  • Author: Ortese, Anna Maria
  • Binding: Clothbound, sewn, jacketed
  • Pages: 224
  • Size: 5-1/2 x 8-1/2"
  • Pub. Year: 1998
  • ISBN: 0-929701-56-9
  • In Stock: Yes
Price: $22.00
Translated from the Italian by Henry Martin.
Volume Two

To enter Anna Maria Ortese's short stories is to surrender to a strangely intimate voice and a disturbing vision of enchantment: a realm of the imagination just beyond the senses, yet grounded to life in all its complexity. Her deceptively forthright tales include a chance encounter with a 112-year-old pixie, a walk through Jesus and Mary's celestial flower garden, a midnight journey through the Milan train station, a haunting tale of forbidden love, a sea voyage to Tripoli, and the end of the world. Ortese intertwines elements of the fantastic with autobiography, imbues documentary realism with devastating undertones of social satire, and addresses personal griefs in apocalyptic dreams. Widely considered one of the most important Italian writers of the century, Ortese published, in addition to several major novels, seven fiction collections between 1937 and her death in 1998 at the age of 84. The ten stories in this second volume of brilliant English language translations by Henry Martin further demonstrate why critics compare her works of "magic realism" with Kafka and Poe, Hamsun, Borges and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

"Deliciously eerie, enigmatic, and resonant symbolic fictions.... Ortese's stories, written over more than a half-century of courageously sustained creative effort, are deftly declarative explorations of their author's own inquiring sensibility, packed with autobiographical details and observations and explicitly discursive reportage.... Enchanting stuff from a unique writer. If you like Borges, you'll like Ortese."
-- Kirkus Reviews

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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