Donatella Di Pietrantonio

A Girl Returned

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“One of the best Italian novels of the year” in a pitch-perfect rendering in English by Ann Goldstein, Elena Ferrante’s translator (Huffington Post, Italy).

Winner of the Campiello Prize

A 2019 Best Book of the Year (The Washington Post Kirkus Reviews Dallas Morning News)

Told with an immediacy and a rare expressive intensity that has earned it countless adoring readers and one of Italy’s most prestigious literary prizes, A Girl Returned is a powerful novel rendered with sensitivity and verve by Ann Goldstein, translator of the works of Elena Ferrante. Set against the stark, beautiful landscape of Abruzzo in central Italy, this is a compelling story about mothers and daughters, about responsibility, siblings, and caregiving.

Without warning or explanation, an unnamed thirteen-year-old girl is sent away from the family she has always thought of as hers to live with her birth family: a large, chaotic assortment of individuals whom she has never met and who seem anything but welcoming. Thus begins a new life, one of struggle, tension, and conflict, especially between the young girl and her mother. But in her relationship with Adriana and Vincenzo, two of her newly acquired siblings, she will find the strength to start again and to build a new and enduring sense of self.

“An achingly beautiful book, and an utterly devastating one.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Di Pietrantonio [has a] lively way with a phrase (the translator, Ann Goldstein, shows the same sensitivity she does with Elena Ferrante) [and] a fine instinct for detail.”? The Washington Post

“A gripping, deeply moving coming-of-age novel; immensely readable, beautifully written, and highly recommended.”? Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Captivating.” —The Economist
This book is currently unavailable
157 printed pages
Original publication
2019
Publication year
2019
Translator
Ann Goldstein
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Quotes

  • Karla Montalvohas quotedlast year
    In spring I bring him a basket of strawberries, we wash them in the fountain beside the hedge. Then he eats them, after holding them up to the light, one by one, gripping them by the stem. He observes the tiny variations in shape, in color. I suspect that he’s trying to count all those seeds on the surface
  • Karla Montalvohas quotedlast year
    At the institution where he lives now, there is one aide he talks to, always the same one, and when that aide goes on vacation he’s silent. So they tell me
  • Karla Montalvohas quotedlast year
    Who would take out her baby teeth when I returned to the city

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