Woman of Rome and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Woman of Rome Hardcover – July 29, 2008

10 customer reviews

See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$2.96 $0.01

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Check out The Amazon Book Review, our editors' fresh new blog featuring interviews with authors, book reviews, quirky essays on book trends, and regular columns by our editors. Explore now

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Novelist Elsa Morante and the city she symbolized come alive in this warm, sprightly literary biography. Novelist Tuck (The News from Paraguay) surveys Morante's life: her troubled relationship with an unstable mother; her salad days writing magazine pieces along with having to occasionally resort to prostitution to make a living; World War II, when she and husband, Alberto Moravia, both half-Jewish, hid out from Fascist persecution in a mountain village; her postwar dolce vita immersed in friendships, affairs and dinner-table debates with Rome's glitterati. Morante emerges as a complex, vibrant character—difficult, mercurial and fiercely (often rudely) devoted to truth-telling, but also kindhearted and charismatic. Tuck ties the biographical details—and analyses of her subject's dreams and handwriting—to sympathetic but critical analyses of Morante's protean works, which include the hothouse melodrama of House of Liars, the darkly beguiling Huckleberry Finn fable of Arturo's Island and the pitiless meditation on force and corruption of her bestselling History. Tuck sets the life in a colorful evocation of Morante's milieu, enlivened by her own youthful reminiscences of Italy's postwar film scene, that makes the book a love letter to Rome as well as to her subject. Photos. (July 29)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Tuck resurrects the life, times, and career of Elsa Morante, an important writer in post–World War II Italy, author of  four novels: House of Liars (1948), Arturo’s Island (1957), History (1974), and Aracoeli (1982). Morante was a major participant in Italy’s cultural flowering of the postwar era. She knew other famous Italian writers (and was married to one, Alberto Moravia), as well as many famous filmmakers, including Pier Paolo Pasolini and Luchino Visconti. Born in Rome into a family of modest means, Morante had an early life that boasted only a small degree of material comfort; she moved away from home to support herself at a far younger age than was socially accepted at the time. During World War II, she and Moravia found it necessary to flee Rome and hide from the Fascists in a mountain hut. Morante experienced many love affairs over the years, though only fleeting happiness was gained from each one; but all the while, she was devoting herself to writing and to drawing richness from her wide exposure to life. Written with a charming personal touch (Tuck herself has spent considerable time in Rome) that warms the narrative to a fine glow, this is a vital biography bringing to American audiences a writer most will have previously known little about. See the Story behind the Story for more information on Tuck and the writing of this book. --Brad Hooper
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 263 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1 edition (July 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061472565
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061472565
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,266,992 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Linda Farhood-karasavva on February 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am an English professor and did not really know the work of this
writer. The book spurred my interest and now I will find some of
Morante's novels and read them. A provocative study of her life
and relationships and nicely written.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Frances J. Kiernan on March 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
From start to finish, Lily Tuck brings to this nuanced and dazzling biography of a difficult woman the intuition, the appreciation, the empathy, and the skill of a writer no less gifted than her subject. Both personal and acute, this book resembles no literary biography that has come my way. Like its subject, it will always be a true original.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Patricia V. Blitzer on March 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I'd never heard of Elsa Morante before a good friend recommended WOMAN OF ROME. Not only couldn't I put it down, I've ordered all of Morante's and all of Tuck's books on line. To think I'd never heard of Morante, a woman who lived life purely on her own terms. And what a life! Lily Tuck won the National Book Award and I can see why. Her prose is pitch-perfect, smart, often funny and invariably moving. I loved this book. Elsa Morante is blessed to have Lily Tuck as a biographer. I'd give ELSA MORANTE: WOMAN OF ROME 100 stars if I could.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Molly Haskell on March 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Lily Tuck captures the fundamentally elusive nature of Elsa Morante. Morante is a difficult subject, not easy to love or understand, but tantalizing all the same, and an important and (in America) overlooked writer. Tuck, with her deft, non-judgmental style, her cosmopolitan detachment, is the perfect biographer. She can love Morante without needing to completely explain or understand her. A terrific job!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By an interested literary buff on May 3, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is an injustice to an Italian treasure and not only one that made me incur a great deal of anger in the reading but also shows that this author should remain a fiction writer and never attempt to do a biography again if she wishes to be taken as a serious scholarly writer.
One must admit that this venture may have started out as a sincere and even loving attempt but despite the author, admitting she had a limited knowledge of Italian (but a staff at her disposal), wrote the most disorganized work I have ever witnessed by a noted writer.
Author admits to being intrigued by Morante but then goes off on tangents all over the work, most often in the middle of vital chapters about her own "connections" because of her father and how he was a member of an elite cinema club where the café society of Italy often met. She seemed to have picked the brain of anyone she could find living in Italy who was associated with the author. Some of these interviews do give important insight but Ms. Tuck ruins whatever was culled by expounding on Elsa Morante's sexual encounters some of which may not have taken place.
In layman terms, a great deal of this book relies on the imagination of Ms. Tuck, after she interviewed some critics and friends of the author who may have already exaggerated certain events upon which Ms. Tuck further added her own fantasies.
I read the book from cover to cover and became angrier and angrier. As a Morante enthusiast, I was disillusioned that what was supposed to be a tribute turned out to be an attempt to undercover scandal which really was not there to begin with.
Ms.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?