Grazia Deledda, the only Italian to win the Nobel Prize for literature
The story of Grazia Deledda, the most famous Sardinian writer in the world and the only Italian to win the Nobel Prize for literature in 1926 after Carducci and even before Pirandello.

91 years ago, in the cold Stockholm, the warm voice of a small Italian woman marks a memorable speech, that of thanks for the Nobel Prize for literature.

That woman was Grazia Deledda and her words began like this: "I was born in Sardinia; my family is composed of wise people, but also of violent and productive artists ».

That speech is perhaps the culmination of the poetic story of Grazia Deledda, an intense and fruitful writer whose fame, in the last century, spread throughout the world. A disruptive figure especially considering the fact that it came from a land and lived in an era that did not reward female ambition.

Although rather sparse of events, Grazia Deledda's life was however particularly fruitful from a literary point of view. She was born in Nuoro on September 28, 1871, the fifth of seven sons and daughters of a wealthy family. After attending schools until the fourth grade, Grazia Deledda continued her studies with a tutor since at the time, even in Sardinia, girls did not attend high school. In fact, his training, especially literary, was self-taught.

Of a quiet and restrained character, his youth was marked by a series of very painful family tragedies: his older brother, Santus, abandoned his studies and became an alcoholic, the youngest, Andrea, was arrested for petty thefts. His father died of a heart attack when Grazia Deledda was only 21 and the family had to face financial difficulties. Four years later, her sister Vincenza also died.

In the meantime, however, the young Sardinian had started to write. He published his first novel in 1886, at the age of fifteen, on a Nuorese newspaper. Two years later he began to collaborate with various other newspapers and magazines, first Sardinian and then Roman, of no particular stature. Then slowly, it begins to become more known and appreciated.

He wrote about himself

I do not dream of glory for a feeling of vanity and selfishness, but because I love my country intensely, and dream of one day being able to radiate with a gentle ray the gloomy shades of our woods, to one day narrate, understood, life. and the passions of my people, so different from others so vilified and forgotten and therefore more miserable in its proud and primitive ignorance.
I will be in twenty years, thirty I want to have reached my radiant dream which is to create from me alone a completely and exclusively Sardinian literature.
I'm a little girl, you know, I'm small even compared to Sardinian women who are very small, but I'm bold and brave like a giant and I'm not afraid of intellectual battles.

In October 1899 the writer moved to Rome and the following year she married Palmiro Madesani, an official of the Ministry of Finance, known in Cagliari two months before.

Meanwhile the verism of his narrative, the dark tones and the anxiety of liberation of his works, the stories of primitive passions that he tells in his novels made a breach in criticism, even abroad and December 10, 1926 came the highest consecration for a writer: the award of the Nobel Prize for literature, «for its power of writer, supported by a high ideal, which portrays in a plastic form life as it is in its secluded native island and that with depth and heat treats problems of general human interest ".

At 2017 she is the only Italian woman writer to have received this recognition.

A breast cancer that he suffered for some time led her to death on August 15 or 16 (depends on the sources) of 1936, almost ten years after the Nobel victory.

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