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This is the first English translation of Verga's novel La Storia di una Capinera and is the official tie-in with the Zeffirelli film Sparrow.
Set in 1854 in a Sicily devastated by a cholera epidemic. Sparrow tells of a love that can never be; the brief existence of a girl, forced to become a nun, who falls in love with a young man, but who, on returning to the convent, goes insane.
Zeffirelli chose to film Sparrow as he was intrigued by the need for idealised and absolute love. "It is a challenge for me to tell of 'The Insanity of Absolute Love' with its emotional yearnings and enchantment, its exchanges of furtive glances and stolen caresses".
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Verga's epistolary novel, while taking on the highly-charged contemporary issue of "forced sisterhoods" - merges Romantic lyricism with a new social Realism to produce a tour-de-force of style and emotion.From the Back Cover:
Giovanni Verga creates in this novel a tour-de-force of emotional intensity that represents one of the late flowerings of the Romantic movement and opens the door to the Realism of the late nineteenth century. Deeply emotional in its revelation of Maria's inner state, yet bitterly ironic in its criticism of Bourbon Italy's oppression of women, Sparrow still has the capacity to fascinate and outrage while it delights the reader with the bravado of Verga's fictional constructions.
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