Ashes

Ashes

Ashes

Ashes

Synopsis

Jan Kozma's English translation of Grazia Deledda's Ashes (Cenere, 1904) represents a rendering of the novel that embodies the Nobel Prize-winning author's mature style. Ashes is the story of Oli, a Sardinian unwed mother who is forced by poverty to abandon her only child. Raised by his genetic father, Ananias eventually attains social acceptability in the legal prefession yet cannot give up his obsessive search for his mother. When Oli realizes that public knowledge of her life in prostitution will jeopardize her son's impending marriage and professional success, she makes the ultimate maternal sacrifice to ensure his future. Deledda's novel explores the themes of filial duty, hypocritical societal expectations, the ravages of poverty, and maternal devotion. The author interweaves into the novel leitmotivs of Sardinian folklore, health issues, banditry, illegitimacy, prostitution, and the social mores of the late nineteenth century with all the attendant public opprobrium. When Henrik Schuck introduced Grazia Deledda to the Stockholm audience at the Nobel Prize ceremonies in 1926, he made a special point of mentioning that she had brought to the attention of the world certain rive
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