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Summary

Sicilia, prima metà del Settecento. Marianna Ucrìa, una bambina che appartiene a una nobile famiglia, è destinata come le sorelle e le cugine al matrimonio o alla clausura. Ma Marianna è sordomuta e per comunicare deve imparare a esprimersi scrivendo. A tredici anni sposa un vecchio zio e mette al mondo dei figli, ma la sua vita si arricchisce con la lettura: impara così a conoscere il mondo al di là dei ristretti confini quotidiani. Una storia che racconta di una donna straordinaria che sa affrontare la vita con coraggio e passione.
©1992 Dacia Maraini (P)2011 Emons Italia s.r.l.

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Un classico della letteratura italiana

Storia bellissima, ritratto fedele e impietoso della debolezza dei nobili di quel periodo e non solo, come pure della forza di una donna di grande intelletto e generosità spirituale, che come molte, è riuscita con ingenuità e intuito a raggirare i troppi ostacoli della sua situazione di donna come tale dal valore relativo all’uomo che le sta accanto.
La descrizione dei paesaggi, delle piazze, della gente, dei cibi siciliani trasporta il lettore in un tempo lontano e in una regione meravigliosa, la bravura della Maraini sempre desta ammirazione e interesse.

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  • cecilia galiena
  • 08-11-19

Captivating, brilliant

I only enjoyed this novel via Audible, while I was drawing, so I don’t know how it would have worked out for me had I read the book instead. After a while I had to put my pencils down as I felt more and more immersed in the narration. The writing style - quite colorful and dramatic - seems appropriate to the epoch and the events it portrays. Main character’s choice: a woman who, despite her inability to speak and hear, is able to advance intellectually over most of her kins and force them to pause while relating to her, is brilliant. More so today when queer thinking focuses on ableism as another form of racism, informed by a basically a binary view of humankind. Also interesting is the vintage point the author gives the protagonist - and its readers - while she navigates the patriarchal Sicilian society (whether being shunned by the farm workers or being chastised by her son for her independence). Marianna, the deaf and mute protagonist, stands out because she forces a break in the spoken world surrounding her: she either forces people to write to her in order to communicate with her, or to use their body language, whereby forcing us to pause and reflect upon the behaviors and thinking of the characters, right as the novel evolves under our very own eyes (or ears). Of course, Marianna’s intellectual victory is possible because of her social position of privilege, people have to listen to her, she is a Duchess. None the less, she is above all of her aristocratic female colleagues, who rot away their brains and bodies, caged in the patriarchal expectations they are not able to fight against.