the lives of saints , sinners , and yoneever in between the year in y alit ilaria serra Quirky Italy is commonly known as a country of saints, artists, and crimi- nals. Eccentric personalities continue to punctuate the biographical produc- tion of the past year, ree fl cting the peculiar characteristics of this nation: its self-complacency, its originality, and its attraction for the odd and the unex- plained. e Th life stories that have captured the attention of publishers belong to saints and demons with many uncommon stories in between—world-re- nowned entrepreneurs who remain loyal to their small-town roots, an autistic man and an unknown soldier, a vanishing physicist and a murdered cyclist— but include fewer women than expected, among them the strange case of the novelist Elena Ferrante, whose enigma may have finally unraveled this year. Biographical writing is valued in Italy, a country that treasures memory, just as it cherishes its historical monuments. It is not necessary to be a lumi- nous personality to earn the honor of a biography, as reflected in the over- flowing shelves of the Archivio Diaristico Nazionale of Pieve Santo Stefano in Tuscany. This archive of scrittura popolare (people’s writing), founded by
Biography – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Mar 8, 2018
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