The Woman of Rome

The Woman of Rome

Paperback Italia S

By (author) Alberto Moravia

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  • Publisher: Steerforth Press
  • Format: Paperback | 410 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 213mm x 30mm | 499g
  • Publication date: 21 October 1999
  • Publication City/Country: South Royalton
  • ISBN 10: 1883642809
  • ISBN 13: 9781883642808
  • Edition: New edition
  • Edition statement: New edition
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 464,449

Product description

The glitter and cynicism of Rome under Mussolini provide the background of what is probably Alberto Moravia's best and best-known novel -- "The Woman of Rome." It's the story of Adriana, a simple girl with no fortune but her beauty who models naked for a painter, accepts gifts from men, and could never quite identify the moment when she traded her private dream of home and children for the life of a prostitute. One of the very few novels of the twentieth century which can be ranked with the work of Dostoevsky, "The Woman of Rome" also tells the stories of the tortured university student Giacomo, a failed revolutionary who refuses to admit his love for Adriana; of the sinister figure of Astarita, the Secret Police officer obsessed with Adriana; and of the coarse and brutal criminal Sonzogno, who treats Adriana as his private property. Within this story of passion and betrayal, Moravia calmly strips away the pride and arrogance hiding the corrupt heart of Italian Fascism.

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Author information

Alberto Moravia was born in Rome in 1907 and published his first novel at 21. In the 1930s, censored by Mussolini and the Vatican alike, Moravia resorted to writing under a pseudonym. During the war Moravia and his wife Elsa Morante lived in hiding in the mountains south of Rome until the liberation. Among his fourteen novels translated into English are "The Conformist," "Two Women," and "The Time of Indifference." He died in 1990.

Review quote

"A profoundly realistic and compassionate story which continually transcends its subject; which is in effect the story of modern Italy." -- "The Atlantic Monthly "

Editorial reviews

The story of the oldest profession by one of its younger members, this is a first person narrative which combines a certain naivete with even more self-love and self-pity. Adriana, whose mother had high hopes for her, largely financial, is hired out as an artist' model, then at eighteen meets Gino, a chauffeur, with whom- to her mother's disgust- she falls in love. Her seduction by Gino expectedly does not lead to marriage, and Adriana, under the influence of a friend, is led into prostitution, reaches a low when first she steals, later she becomes involved with a murderer. Falling in love again, with ??Giacomo- a student engaged in subversive politics- Adriana finds herself unable to secure his love or to save him, and is pregnant when he suicides... You can't work up too much sympathy over Adriana- she's such a dumbbunny- but the interludes of fulsome Latin passion may salaciously satisfy a few. (Kirkus Reviews)

Flap copy

THE GLITTER AND CYNICISM of Rome under Mussolini provide the background of what is probably Alberto Moravia's best and best-known novel -- "The Woman of Rome. It's the story of Adriana, a simple girl with no fortune but her beauty who models naked for a painter, accepts gifts from men, and could never quite identify the moment when she traded her private dream of home and children for the life of a prostitute. One of the very few novels of the twentieth century which can be ranked with the work of Dostoevsky, "The Woman of Rome also tells the stories of the tortured university student Giacomo, a failed revolutionary who refuses to admit his love for Adriana; of the sinister figure of Astarita, the Secret Police officer obsessed with Adriana; and of the coarse and brutal criminal Sonzogno, who treats Adriana as his private property. Within this story of passion and betrayal, Moravia calmly strips away the pride and arrogance hiding the corrupt heart of Italian Fascism.