The Woman of Rome

The Woman of Rome

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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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Product details

  • Paperback | 410 pages
  • 139.7 x 213.36 x 30.48mm | 498.95g
  • Steerforth Press
  • South Royalton, United States
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1883642809
  • 9781883642808
  • 477,112

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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 "

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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.

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About Alberto Moravia

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.

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