An international bestseller from Italy's foremost woman writer.
"The publication in America of Maraini's The Silent Duchess... is cause for rejoicing. Episodic and essentially plotless, but propelled by an inner tension, this unusual historical novel about the splendid but squalid Sicilian aristocracy of the early 18th century comes closer to belles lettres than a conventional novel." --Publishers Weekly "[D]eftly juggles a strong feminist statement with a beautifully specific re-creation of 18th-century Sicily. . . . [A] carefully paced story of intellectual and moral growtha story thats as much a charming fairy tale as an impeccably realistic chronicle of one woman's painstaking ascension to self-expression and independence." --Kirkus "Maraini brilliantly conveys the mixture of luxury and squalor in which the Sicilian aristocracy lived. . . . The Silent Duchess manages totally to overpower the reader with its narrative urgency. . . . Since she won the Prix Formentor in 1963, Dacia Maraini has produced nothing finer than this." --Evening Standard (London) "This is a novel of the greatest vividness. It arouses intense feeling. It provokes thought. It invites the reader into a world which is very different from that in which we live, and yet immediately recognizable as true and valid. . . . It is illuminating, moving, and entrancing." --The Scotsman (Edinburgh) "The Silent Duchess has a subtlety of perception, a delicacy in probing emotions and above all, an elusive feel for history itself. . . . The narrative has the richness of a saga. . . . This history of a woman's quest for dignity is an astonishing achievement." --The Independent (London) "Dacia Maraini has produced a fiction of elegance and charm." --The Mail on Sunday (London) "A thoughtful and beautifully written book." --Sunday Express (London) "The publication in America of The Silent Duchess is cause for rejoicing."--"Publishers Weekly" "a carefully paced story of intellectual and moral growth."--"Kirkus" "Maraini's writing is elegant, and her graphic descriptions of the luxurious life of the aristocracy in sharp contrast to the squalor of the majority living in poverty are quite realistic. . . . Recommended. . . wherever foreign authors are popular."--"Library Journal"