in the UK
Winner of the 1926 Novel Prize for Literature
After serving time in mainland Italy for a minor theft, Elias Portolu returns home to Nuoro, in rural Sardinia. Lonely and vulnerable after his prison exile, he falls in love with his brother's fiancee. But he finds himself trapped by social and religious strictures, his passion and guilt winding into a spiral of anguish and paralyzing indecision. For guidance he turns first to the village priest, who advises him to resist temptation; then he turns to the pagan "father of the woods," who recognizes the weakness of human will and urges him to declare his love before it is too late.
Northwestern University Press
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