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Tigress in the Snow: Motherhood and Literature in Twentieth-Century Italy (Toronto Italian Studies) Hardcover – December 29, 2007

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Editorial Reviews


'Benedetti focuses her analysis of motherhood in Italian literature on texts written primarily by women authors ranging from early years of the twentieth century to the late 1990s... the result is a fascinating and perceptive analysis of a theme that is a collective obsession in Italian culture.' (Rebecca West Modern Philology: vol 108:04:2011)


’Laura Benedetti has written a well-documented and informative study illuminating the importance of motherhood in understanding the ’difference‘ in Italian women's writings as well as the ’difference‘ in Italian feminist theory. She presents a broad and comprehensive picture of the complex interaction between different generations of women writers, their male counterparts, and changes in Italian culture throughout the twentieth century. The Tigress in the Snow delivers insightful literary analyses that will be of great use to students and scholars.‘ (Carol Lazzaro-Weis, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, University of Missouri-Columbia)|

'The Tigress in the Snow provides a complete overview of Italian women writers in the twentieth century, as well as individual treatments of particular writers, their major works, and their literary characteristics. It is the first study to deal exclusively with the subject of motherhood and Italian literature, and it does so with a clear understanding of the cultural background out of which the writers dealt with conceived their works. Laura Benedetti's writing is extremely engaging and vivid, and reading her work is not only informative but a real pleasure.'

(Pietro Frassica, Department of French and Italian, Princeton University)

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Product Details

  • Series: Toronto Italian Studies
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division; 1st edition (December 29, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802097448
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802097446
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.6 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,017,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on March 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Laura Benedetti (Associate Professor in Contemporary Italian Culture, Georgetown University) presents The Tigress in the Snow: Motherhood and Literature in Twentieth-Century Italy, an analysis of how literature was influenced by and helped to frame concepts of motherhood in Italy during the late twentieth century. Touching upon subjects such as religious iconography, the Fascist government's attempts to raise Italy's birthrate, and even relatively modern feminist views of traditional gender roles, The Tigress in the Snow offers a fascinating glimpse of cultural transition, even revealing how literature can envision new models for the present and future. "In her pamphlet 'Le idee di una donna' (1903), Neera repeated over and over again that motherhood was to be women's only mission. Apart from mocking women who harbored other ambitions, she tried to ignore the socioeconomic factors that made marriage and motherhood impossible for many. Only in her last chapter did she acknowledge the fact that some women may never become mothers, in spite of their heartfelt desires. Turning to them, she envisioned for a moment the possibility of separating motherhood from its biological component." A thoughtfully written treatise, and a welcome addition to Italian literary criticism shelves.
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