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Woman of Rome: A Life of Elsa Morante

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  56 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
The first biography in any language of one of the most celebrated Italian writers of the twentieth century.

Born in 1912 to an unconventional family of modest means, Elsa Morante grew up with an independent spirit, a formidable will, and an unshakable commitment to writing. Forced to hide from the Fascists during World War II in a remote mountain hut with her husband, renow
ebook, 288 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 2008)
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Sarah Beth
"People, Elsa Morante always claimed, were essentially divided into three categories: there was Achilles, the man who lived out his passions; there was Don Quixote, the man who lived out his dreams. and, finally, there was Hamlet, the man who questioned everything. Moravia, in her opinion, was part Hamlet and part Achilles; she herself was all Don Quixote" (p.61).

It's little wonder why Lily Tuck was drawn to write the first biography of Elsa Morante, one of the most celebrated writers in Italy d
Aug 22, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lily-tuck
Several years ago, when I was perusing the shelves in the fiction section of the downtown BORDERS, I came across the novel "History" by Elsa Morante. She was a writer that I had, hitherto, never heard of. But the subject matter of the novel caught my interest, and so I bought it.

This particular book I purchased earlier this year because I wanted to know something more about this woman. And in that respect, Lily Tuck does a thoroughly good job of providing the reader with the particulars of Elsa
Urenna Sander
I skimmed through this book; I didn’t like it. However, it’s not the author’s fault. It was difficult for her to retrieve information out of friends and family of the late author, Elsa Morante (Arturo’s Island). The author, Lily Tuck, thought they appeared to be protective of Ms. Morante’s life, a life which was quite unusual. Elsa Morante and her husband lived an ‘open marriage,’ prior to and after post-war Rome.

Her famous writer husband, Alberto Moravia, was author of the famous book and movi
Too much of the biographer in the book -- that always turns me off. I'm a fan of Pavese and Ginzburg. If my library had a decent selection of Morante's work I would give it a try. But it appears almost all has been weeded and discarded -- the sad fate of real literature that does not get checked out often enough to suit the computerized weeding systems in use today.

Morante was what is called a larger than life character -- no shrinking violet -- who spoke her mind. As she shouts in a restaurant:
Cynthia Clough
I read this book last week in practically a single sitting. Was one of the most compelling biographies I've read in some time, examining the dark life of this most important of female Italian novelists. I appreciated the biographer's sense of irony and compassion and capacity to make such a complicated life so accessible without the burden of analyzing or explaining to much. I appreciate a biography that approaches a life with a sense of awe and wonder and mystery, with no need to make judgments ...more
Rebecca L.
Have you ever started reading a biography of someone that not only you did you know nothing about but you had not even heard the subject's name before? I found myself in this reading situation recently and was pleasantly surprised about how captivating it can be to discover a life unfolding. Woman of Rome by Lily Tuck explores the life of Italian Writer Elsa Morante and the history of her time as she was writing during WWII. - Read more at http://www.thekeytothegate.blogspot.c...
Chiara Coletti
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My mother introduced me to the work of Elsa Morante, specifically the extraordinary novel La Storia. Lily Tuck's biography is a dark and yet strangely enchanting tale that illuminates all of the post-war Italian artistic scene: Moravia, Bertolucci, Passolini, Grazia Deledda, Visconti, Natalia Ginsburg and on and on. It unfolds like a story, the way Morante might have told it.
Jun 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fic, italy-lust
Pulled off a shelf at the local library because, well, "Rome" in the title...and I think I know something about world lit but I'd never heard of Elsa Morante. Award winning author Tuck does an excellent job of getting under the skin of Morante and fleshing out her life and her writing.
Sep 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone interested in novels and in Italian literature
The first biography ever of a major Italian writer, Elsa Morante, written by National Book Award Lily Tuck.
Louise Mathewson
Jun 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
interesting character!!
Sep 27, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: collection
My love of biography's probably makes me biased, but a very interesting book about a little known (in America) Italian writer.
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Lily Tuck is an American novelist and short story writer whose novel The News from Paraguay won the 2004 National Book Award for Fiction. Her novel Siam was nominated for the 2000 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. She has published four other novels, a collection of short stories, and a biography of Italian novelist Elsa Morante (see "Works" below).
An American citizen born in Paris, Tuck now divides
More about Lily Tuck...