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About the Author

Michela Murgia was born in Cabras, Sardinia. Accabadora firmly establishes her at the forefront of a recent renaissance in Italian fiction. It has won six literary prizes. Silvester Mazzarella is a translator of Italian and Swedish literature. He lives in Canterbury.


'An original work of serious accomplishment' Paul Bailey, Independent.

'A curious and elegiac work, it takes no prisoners when it comes to the realities of birth and death. Tenderly translated by Silvestre Mazzarella' Independent.

'A powerful and at times genuinely spellbinding piece of work' Billy O'Callaghan, Irish Examiner.
*Irish Examiner*

'A real gem ... Beautifully written ... Wonderfully well evoked ... It reminded me a little of The Tiger's Wife' Liz Jensen, Radio Four.
*Radio Four*

'Her evocation of rural life feels authentic and the atmosphere of earthy darkness is well sustained' Sunday Times.
*Sunday Times*

'Incredibly moving ... I really enjoyed it' Miranda Sawyer, Radio Four.
*Radio Four*

Set in 1950s Sardinia, Murgia's lovely English-language debut tells the story of Bonaria Urrai, caretaker of the dying, and the life she tries to give to Maria, the unwanted six-year-old daughter of a widow. In the parlance of the Mediterranean isle, Bonaria is known as the accabadora, a word drawn from the Spanish acabar, which means "to finish or complete"; Maria is a fill'e anima, a "soul-child... born twice," once "from the "poverty of one woman" and again in the care of another. Though Bonaria's role is to comfort those on the cusp of death, she sometimes-with familial consent-brings about the end for "those who can't bear to suffer anymore." Maria, unaware of her adoptive mother's sideline, takes up dressmaking and eventually attracts the attention of Andria Bastiu, son of local vintners. But when Andria reveals to Maria that Bonaria killed his crippled brother, a shocked Maria flees to Turin to start another new life. Yet despite Bonaria's secrets, Maria cannot forget her kindness. A touching meditation on life and death and the power of love to bind, transcend, and let go. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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