Fiction Vaz, Katherine Mariana

ISBN 13: 9780006550631

Mariana

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( 87 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780006550631: Mariana

Based on the true story of one of Europe’s notorious love affairs, Mariana is the extraordinary tale of a nun’s life in seventeenth-century Portugal.

In seventeenth-century Portugal, Mariana de Alcoforado, a nobleman’s daughter and a nun since the age of ten, shocks the convent by having an affair with a French soldier.

A story about the miraculous power of love (familial, passionate and spiritual), Mariana is based on the true story of one of Europe’s most notorious love affairs, and Mariana’s letters to her soldier lover have classic status throughout Europe. Stendahl said of Mariana: ‘It is necessary to love like the Portuguese nun, with that ardent soul whose fiery mark is left for us in her letters’.

With an extraordinarily skilful accretion of detail, a wonderful eye for the unusual and more than a hint of magic realism, Katherine Vaz brings Mariana and seventeenth-century Portugal to tumultuous life – her account of the daily affairs of a convent filled with some of the brightest and most spirited women in the country completely overturns the notion that a nun’s life is austere and uneventful.

A historical novel that doesn’t read like a historical novel. Katherine Vaz is a young American who injects her luscious prose with liveliness and wit, brilliantly plucking out morsels of history to tempt the contemporary reader.

Already published in Italy to enormous acclaim.

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Review:

‘[Mariana’s] letters, translated here by Vaz, are simple, strong arguments for the purity of love, and they seem to penetrate the human heart with startling directness… Mariana is most successful in its lyrical descriptions of ordinary lives transfigured, in its detailing of everyday routines and beliefs, and in its account of spiritual and emotional struggles… Vaz’s evocation of life in seventeenth-century Portugal glows with colour.’
E V Ormond, TLS

From the Back Cover:

In seventeenth-century Portugal, Mariana de Alcoforado, a nobleman's daughter and a nun since the age of ten, shocks the convent by having an affair with a French soldier, Captain Noel Bouton. When the scandal breaks, Bouton is immediately ordered back to France by his regiment. Mariana, devastated by her loss, writes extraordinarily beautiful and passionate letters to him in the hope that he will eventually return, letters to which she will never receive a reply.

Written in luscious prose by a writer with a wonderful eye for the unusual, 'Mariana' is based on the true story of one of Europe's most famous tales of seduction and abandonment, a tale which inspired artists from Matisse to Braque to try to capture the face of a woman of whom Stendhal said: ‘It is necessary to love like the Portuguese nun, with that ardent soul whose fiery mark is left for us in her letters.’

"(Mariana's) letters, translated here by Vaz, are simple, strong arguments for the purity of love, and they seem to penetrate the human heart with startling directness…Mariana's evocation of life in seventeenth-century Portugal glows with colour…and is most successful in its lyrical descriptions of ordinary lives transfigured, in its detailing of everyday routines and beliefs, and in its account of spiritual and emotional struggles."
E.V. ORMOND, 'TLS'

"Vaz has succeeded in the daunting task of blending an exquisitely beautiful love story with an insightful exploration of the sort of mysticism that springs from the combination of carnal experience and the forced absence of it within the walls of a cloister. To these elements is added a poetic and heartrending portrait of a woman. Seldom does one read pages of such intense beauty and intelligence about the female heart like those written by Vaz."
SIMONETTA BARTOLINI, 'Il Giornale'

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Katherine Vaz
Published by Flamingo, London (1998)
ISBN 10: 0006550630 ISBN 13: 9780006550631
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
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Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
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Book Description Flamingo, London, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0006550630

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