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Accabadora

A Novel

List Price: $15.95

October 9, 2012 | Paperback | 5.5 x 8.2, 208 Pages | ISBN 9781619020504
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"Set in 1950s Sardinia, Murgia's lovely English-language debut… [is] a touching meditation on life and death and the power of love to bind, transcend, and let go." —Publishers Weekly

The award-winning Accabadora is an exceptional English-language debut, written with intriguing subtlety reflecting a sensual picture of local Italian life and death in villages during the 1950’s. A time where family ties and obligations still decide much of life’s ebb and flow. A must read for those who love a touch of the unusual.

Formerly beautiful and at one time betrothed to a fallen soldier, Bonaria Urrai has a long held covenant with the dead. Midwife to the dying, easing their suffering and sometimes ending it, she is revered and feared in equal measure as the village’s Accabadora. When Bonaria adopts Maria, the unloved fourth child of a widow, she tries to shield the girl from the truth about her role as an angel of mercy. Moved by the pleas of a young man crippled in an accident, she breaks her golden rule of familial consent, and in the recriminations that follow, Maria rejects her and flees Sardinia for Turin. Adrift in the big city, Maria strives as ever to find love and acceptance, but her efforts are overshadowed by the creeping knowledge of a debt unpaid, of a duty and destiny that must one day be hers.

Accabadora has been awarded seven major literary prizes, including Italy’s prestigious Premio Campiello.

MICHELA MURGIA was born in Cabras, Sardinia, in 1972 and has worked as a religious studies teacher, a timeshare saleswoman and an administrator in a power plant. Accabadora establishes her alongside Marcello Fois and Davide Longo at the forefront of a recent renaissance in Italian fiction.

SILVESTER MAZZARELLA (translator) is a translator of Italian and Swedish literature. He learned English from his mother, Italian from his father, and Swedish while teaching at the University of Helsinki. He now lives in Canterbury.

Praise

“Set in 1950s Sardinia, Murgia’s lovely English-language debut… [is] a touching meditation on life and death and the power of love to bind, transcend, and let go.” —Publishers Weekly

“The result is an eloquent meditation on the role of death in a community. Accabadora, the winner of several Italian literary prizes, is concerned not only with the bonds between life and death, but also with what it costs to sever them.” —Booklist

“With its remarkable and timeless portrait of village life in Sardinia circa 1950, Accabadora tells the story of a young girl adopted by a remarkable woman who stands at the threshold of life and death. Poignant, honest, and magical, this is a dazzling story for the senses, and one I will not soon forget.” —Susan Sherman, author of The Little Russian

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