The Iguana (cloth)
  • Author: Ortese, Anna Maria
  • Binding: Clothbound
  • Pages: 198
  • Size: 5-1/2 x 8-1/2"
  • Pub. Year: 1988
  • ISBN: 0-914232-87-8
  • In Stock: Yes
Price: $20.00

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Translated from the Italian by Henry Martin.

In this magical novel a Milanese count stumbles upon a desolate community of lost noblemen on an uncharted island off the coast of Portugal. When he discovers, to his utter amazement, that their ill-treated servant is in fact a maiden iguana, and then proceeds to fall in love with her, the story of Aleardo, Estralitta and don Ilario becomes universal -- the fantastic merges with the commonplace until a resonant reality emerges with subtle distillation. From first page to last, the reader is given a tale of tragic love and delusion that ranks among the most affecting in contemporary literature. The Iguana has the force of "The Tempest," and is written with a grace comparable in every way to the works of Izak Dinesen and Djuna Barnes. Little wonder, then, that this novel was called by the noted critic Pietro Citati, "one of the very few books destined to redeem the honor of Italian literature since the Second World War." First published in Italian in 1965, where it was awarded the Fiuggi Prize, this masterpiece of one of the original Italian "magic realists" has become one of our best-sellers.

"An extraordinary novel. ... The reptilian servant is only the first in a series of fantastic touches that tansform the narrative into a satiric fable dense with the echoes of Shakespeare's 'Tempest' and Kafka's 'Metamorphosis.' ... The Iguana is a superb performance."
-- New York Times Book Review

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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