The Art of Joy
Goliarda Sapienza; Translated from the Italian by Anne Milano Appel; Foreword by Angelo Pellegrino
BUY THE BOOK
ISBN: 9781250050243704 Pages
THE TUMULTUOUS TWENTIETH CENTURY, TOLD THROUGH THE LIFE OF A SINGLE EXTRAORDINARY WOMAN
Rejected by a series of publishers, abandoned in a chest for twenty years, Goliarda Sapienza's masterpiece, The Art of Joy, survived a turbulent path to publication. It wasn't until 2005, when it was released in France, that this novel received the recognition it deserves. At last, Sapienza's remarkable book is available in English.
The Art of Joy centers on Modesta, a Sicilian woman born in 1900 whose strength and character are an affront to conventional morality. Impoverished as a child, Modesta believes she is destined for a better life. She is able, through grace and intelligence, to secure marriage to an aristocrat without compromising her own deeply felt values, and revels in upsetting the rules of her fascist, patriarchal society. This is the history of the twentieth century seen through the perspective of one extraordinary woman.
Northern California Book Award Master List
Praise for The Art of Joy
“Sapienza's prose is breathless throughout, urgent, driven forward by the twin engines of sex and history....It's a feast delivered on small plates.” —NPR
“From its explosive, disturbing opening to the quiet cadences of its lyrical close, [The Art of Joy] is crammed with passion, ideas, adventure, and mystery.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“This is the publishing event of the summer…As errant, excessive, and irresistible as the woman at its heart, The Art of Joy more than lives up to the title. Modesta's ‘intense feeling for life' overcomes whatever obstacles the ideologies of ‘sorrow, humiliation, and fear' can throw at her as she embraces ‘life's fluidity.'” —Boyd Tonkin, The Independent (London)