Grazia Maria Cosima Damiana Deledda

Grazia Maria Cosima Damiana Deledda was born in Nuoro, Sardinia, to the respectable bourgeois parents Giovanni Antonio Deledda and Francesca Cambosu Pereleddu, on September 27, 1871. (Biographies of Deledda during her life generally list the year of her birth as 1875). She received only a few years of formal education, which ended when she was eleven; her schooling was then self-imposed and principally carried out through extensive reading of Italian, Russian, French, and English literature of the period, and through contact with people more learned than she. Deledda began publishing stories and novels at a very young age in local papers, despite the shocked reaction of the society of Nuoro and the opposition of her family. In Cagliari in 1899, Deledda met Palmiro Madesani, a civil servant for the Ministero delle Finanze; two months later, in January 1900, they married and moved to Rome, where Deledda lived the rest of her life. She had two sons, Franz and Sardus, and reportedly eschewed the world of Roman society for a tranquil domestic life. Her literary production remained fervid at almost a book a year. Her best and most known works are her novels and collections of short stories, but she also wrote poetry, essays, theatrical works, articles on folklore, and stories for children, and published a translation of Balzac's Eugenia Grandet. She received the 1926 Nobel Prize for Literature, although her accomplishment has long been tarnished by the suspicion that she won the prize over her compatriot Matilde Serao for political reasons. She died of breast cancer in Rome in 1936.