Grazia Deledda wrote over thirty novels, four hundred short stories, a play, an opera-libretto, some poems and translated Balzac’s Eugénie Grandet into Italian in 1930.
[Deledda] belongs to more than just her own day. She does more than reproduce the temporary psychological condition of her period. She has a background, and she deals with something more fundamental than sophisticated feeling . . . what she does do is create the passionate complex of a primitive populace. –D.H. Lawrence
Although Grazia Deledda spent most of her adult life in Rome, much of her writing is set in Sardinia, where she was born.
When these friends and their families came to Nuoro on business or for religious holidays, they usually stayed at our house. Thus I began to know the various characters of my novels.
In her last novel published before her death, The Church of Solitude, Deledda’s protagonist, Marie Concezione, suffers from breast cancer, a malady which led to Deledda’s death in 1936. Cancer was then not only an incurable disease but also a secretive one.
They (Concezione and Aroldo, a boy in love with her) spoke about this illness as little as possible, like a mysterious thing. Even its terrible name, that not even the doctors had pronounced clearly, remained deep in their hearts with a secret agreement to never reveal it, not even to themselves.