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Synopsis

After years of obscurity, Anna Maria Ortese (1914–1998) is emerging as one of the most important Italian authors of the twentieth-century, taking her place alongside such luminaries as Italo Calvino, Primo Levi, and Elsa Morante. Anna Maria Ortese: Celestial Geographies features a selection of essays by established Ortese scholars that trace her remarkable creative trajectory.

Bringing a wide range of critical perspectives to Ortese’s work, the contributors to this collection map the author’s complex textual geography, with its overlapping literary genres, forms, and conceptual categories, and the rhetorical and narrative strategies that pervade Ortese’s many types of writing. The essays are complemented by material translated here for the first time: Ortese’s unpublished letters to her mentor, the writer Massimo Bontempelli; and an extended interview with Ortese by fellow Italian novelist Dacia Maraini.

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