Two Women (Steerforth Italia Series)

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9781586420208: Two Women (Steerforth Italia Series)
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FIRST PUBLISHED in English in 1958, Two Women is a compassionate yet forthright narrative of simple people struggling to survive in war. The two women are Cesira, a widowed Roman shopkeeper, and her daughter Rosetta, a naive teenager of haunting beauty and devout faith. When the German occupation of Rome becomes imminent, Cesira packs a few provisions, sews her life savings into the seams of her dress, and flees with Rosetta to her native province of Ciociara, a poor, mountainous region south of Rome.

Cesira's currency soon loses its value, and a vicious barter economy, fraught with shifty traffickers and thieves, emerges among the mountain peasants and refugees. Mother and daughter endure nine months of hunger, cold, and filth as they await the arrival of the Allied forces. Cesira scarcely cares who wins the war, so long as victory comes soon and brings with it a return to her quiet shopkeeper's life.

Instead, the Liberation brings tragedy. While heading back to Rome the pair are attacked by a group of Allied Moroccan soldiers, who rape Rosetta and beat Cesira unconscious. This act of violence and its resulting loss of innocence so embitters Rosetta that she falls numbly into a life of prostitution. Throughout these hardships Moravia offers up an intimate portrayal of the anguish and destruction wrought by war, both on the battlefield and upon those far from the fray.

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Synopsis:

A Mother and Daughter Struggle to Survive in Wartime Rome; A newly revised and updated translation; The two women of Alberto Moravia's powerful story are mother and daughter - Cesira, a widowed Roman shopkeeper, and Rosetta, a naive teenager of haunting beauty and devout faith. When the German army prepares to occupy Rome, Cesira packs a few provisions, sews her life savings into the seams of her dress, and flees south with Rosetta to her native province of Ciociara, a poor, mountainous region famous for providing the domestic servants of Rome. For nine months the two women endure hunger, cold, and filth as they await the arrival of the Allied forces. But the liberation when it comes, brings unexpected tragedy. On their way home the pair are attacked and Rosetta brutally raped by a group of Allied Moroccan soldiers. This act of violence so embitters Rosetta that she falls numbly into a life of prostitution. In his story of two women Moravia offers up an intimate portrayal of the anguish and destruction wrought by war, as devastating behind the lines as it is on the battlefield.

About the Author:

ALBERTO MORAVIA drew much of the rich cultural detail that permeates Two Women from the eight months he and his wife Elsa Morante spent hiding out from the Fascists during World War II. In 1960 Two Women was made into a film starring Sophia Loren, who won the Oscar for Best Actress for her portrayal of Cesira.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780586057025: Two Women (Panther Books)

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0586057021 ISBN 13:  9780586057025
Publisher: HarperCollins Distribution Services, 1984
Softcover

9780872169456: Two Women

Playbo..., 1991
Softcover

9789997406163: 2 Women

Farrar..., 1958
Hardcover

9780140016031: Two Women

Penguin, 1982
Softcover

9780451016577: Two Women

Signet, 1959
Softcover

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