When Grazia Deledda submitted a short story to a fashion magazine at the age of 13, she could not have known she was setting the stage for a decades-long career and a Nobel Prize. Today’s Doodle celebrates her accomplishments as one of Italy’s great authors.
Deledda was born in 1871 in the village of Nuoro on the island of Sardinia, which is off the western coast of Italy. Her family and surroundings were instrumental in shaping her future as a writer. Her father was a sociable man with many friends in the surrounding towns, and his visitors became the basis for many of the characters in her novels. She was also inspired by her island home, often using Sardinia’s landscape as a metaphor for the challenges her characters faced.
As a female writer in the late 19th century, Deledda faced her own challenges as well. Her formal education ended at age 11, and she relied on private lessons and self-study in order to further her craft. Her work — which often touched on themes like temptation and sin — was often criticized by those in her traditional hometown, despite the inspiration she drew from the region.
These obstacles didn’t sway her though, and Deledda continued to produce many highly praised works. In 1926, she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, making her the first Italian woman and the fourth woman ever to receive a Nobel Prize.