March 15, 2009

Guest Blogger - Jannine Corti-Petska

In honor of Women's History Month, I thought I'd shine the spotlight on an Italian woman who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1926. She is Grazia (Madesani) Deledda, born in Nuoro, a small, isolated village in Sardinia in 1871. She was a gifted writer who published her first work at the age of thirteen. Grazia wove stories about real places and people with real emotions. She painted a picture of reality interspersed with her vivid imagination based on the people and natural surroundings of her village.

She attended elementary school but completed her education under a private tutor. He gave her themed writing assignments and encouraged her to publish her stories in a newspaper. It was the start of an illustrious writing career for Grazia. She sold her first submission, Sangue Sardo (Sardinian Blood) a tragic short story, to a magazine. In 1892, she wrote and sold her first novel. Grazia's talent didn't stop with novels. She also wrote a three-act play and poems. Her novel Cenere was turned into a movie for a famous Italian actress.

In Grazia's time, as well as history in general, women were supposed to concern themselves with domestic duties only. She wasn't supposed to depict in writing what was regarded as a matter for men. Her work was not well-received by her village. But Grazia was a nonconformist. After she married and moved to Rome, she continued to write about Sardinia. Her writing was described as "eloquent and unpretentious." A famous Italian critic said, "Her style is that of the great masters of the narrative; it has the characteristic marks of all great novelists. No one in Italy today writes novels which have the vigor of style, the power of craftsmanship, the structure, or the social relevance which I found in of Grazia Deledda........"

On December 10, 1927, Grazia Deledda was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. In his speech, Archbishop Nathan Soderblom (of the Swedish Academy) said, "Dear Madame. The proverb says, 'All roads lead to Rome.' In your literary work, all roads lead to the human heart........."

Grazia continued to write until her death in 1936. Only those who study Italian literature may know of her, but women of her determination have made strides in a world considered owned by men. And because I am an author, I admire her strength and talent.

I don't write Nobel Prize-worthy literature, but I do write stories from the heart. Stories of real life interwoven with the imagination in my mind and characters with emotion. My favorite backdrop is Medieval Italy where two of my books are set. My latest release is CARINA AND THE NOBLEMAN, the first book in my medieval psychic sisters trilogy. It takes place in Northern Italy and available in ebook and print.

The last thing Count Luciano Ruggero expected was to fall in love with a commoner. But Carina Gallo is the only woman to capture his interest and his heart. When he discovers she has psychic abilities, he is torn between keeping her secret and using her gift to locate his missing brother. Neither the count nor Carina know that her life is in danger until it's almost too late.

Also available is my ebook short story KNIGHT'S DESIRE, set in 14th century Piemonte, Italy.

Mariella Rizzoli seeks employment in Baron Romano DeSanto's castle, hoping to obtain the rights to her dead father's keep. When he bids her to seduce him for the keep, she will do whatever it takes to retain her home. But can she seduce the handsome knight without losing her heart to him?

And for a change of scenery, the following book, REBEL HEART, is a historical western romance set in Santa Fe in 1872.

When the woman he's sworn to protect finds herself in the middle of a range war, Beau Hamilton fights against losing his heart while defending Courtney Danning against the unscrupulous man fixing to run her out of town. But when their passion turns as hot as the Santa Fe sun, will their love in the untamed West prevail? Or will Beau's dark past tear them apart?

Information for purchasing Jannine's books:


Phyllis Campbell said...

Jannine, that was a very interesting life that woman led. I love doing research like this. You know I love your books too, right? (grins)


Anna Kathryn Lanier said...

Hi, Jannine. I enjoyed reading your blog and learning that there were men who encouraged women to think out of the box in the 19th Century and women who did. Thanks for being my guest author.

Anna Kathryn

Susan Blexrud said...

Jannine, you've got some range...from Medieval Italy to the wild, wild West. You go, lady! I've enjoyed our association through DCL, and I look forward to meeting you someday.

Gwynlyn MacKenzie said...

Excellent post, Jannine. And you're right, I hadn't heard of Grazia, but am tickled to know of a woman who put her mark on the world in a male-dominated era.

Jannine said...

Phyllis!!! You are always so supportive, and I love ya.

I love doing research, but I had so much to choose from on the subject of women. I decided to highlight an Italian author because, well.....I am an Italian author, LOL.

Thanks for stopping by. You're the best, sis.

Jannine said...

I think the men who believe women belong in the kitchen are afraid of what they can accomplish. There have been many brillant women in history. And then there's that saying...Behind every successful man is a woman. That is very true!

Thanks for having me as your guest blogger today. It's always fun coming here.

Jannine said...

Hi Susan:
I love writing Italian medievals the best, but I don't limit myself to writing only that. When I first started writing, I wrote Historical western romances. I was very comfortable with that period in history. Stories I have on my agenda to write range from Roman Times to WWII, as well as contemporary romantic suspense.

Yes, I hope we can meet one day. Wouldn't that be so much fun?

Thanks for commenting.

Jannine said...

Hi Gwynlyn:
I love the strong women who are successful despite the tough times. This is how I write my heroines. They know what they want, and they go after it, including the hero. LOL

It was so nice of you to stop by. Thanks.

Ellen said...

Hi Jannine!
Wonderful post. I love stories about women who dared step out of the box---wasn't always the easiest thing to do.

kerribookwriter said...

You said that you don't write nobel prize worthy literature but I think that romance authors do in their own way.

I believe that romance novels make us all better humans in that they allow us to lead rich fantasy lives. We learn about history or exotic places. We learn about love and devotion and passion and longing. Then, we can turn that knowledge into making our marriages better and renew the passion.

I think romance authors never get enough credit!

Also, I think your cover of Rebel Heart is to die for. Love it!

Thanks for coming by and chatting with us, Jannine!

Hey Anna! xx

Becky said...

Jannine, I love reading your post. You are right I never heard of Grazia Deledda, but it sounds like she did what she wanted to do.
You are a new author to me and your books sound like real good reads.

Tess said...

Fascinating!!! DH is Italian, so this was wonderful to learn!

Maryann Miller said...

What a wonderful story about Ms. Deledda. Thanks for sharing it Jannine.

Jannine said...

Hi Ellen:
History hasn't always been kind to women, but it's amazing how many women throughout the centuries persevered.

Thank you for reading my blog.

Jannine said...

Hi Kerri!
I agree with you about romance authors and novels. What so many people who don't read romances don't understand is the authors put a lot of time into research. With historicals, especially, I know I try to keep historical facts intact. LOL, when I wrote Rebel Heart, I learned a lot about the sheep ranching business.

Thanks for the compliment on Rebel Heart's cover. I'll pass it on to the designer.

Jannine said...

Hi Becky:
I'm glad you enjoyed the blog. And now I'm not new to you any more, LOL. I hope you'll check out my website, There's so much more about me, my writing and my heritage. And you can see my three Rat Terriers!

Thank you for commenting.

Happy reading.

Jannine said...

Tess, I always love to hear from fellow Italians or those married to Italians. On my website I have a page dedicated to All Things Italian. As soon as I'm finished writing my current book, my website is going to be overhauled and I'll be adding Italian recipes to the page.

Thanks for reading my blog.

Jannine said...

Hi Maryann:
Grazia Deledda was such a fascinating woman. I could have written so much more, lol, but I held back. I'm glad you liked it.

Thanks for coming by.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

How interesting to read about a woman with courage to go against what is expected. She'd make a great heroine in a historical writen today. I enjoyed reading about her perseverance and am ashamed that I give up so easily at times.

Jannine said...

Paisley, you are certainly right! Grazia would make a great heroine. I think there's a little bit of her streangth in all women.

Thanks for the comments.

Jannine said...

I have a winner for a copy of one of my books! Becky, come on down! Congraulations, you have one a copy of either KNIGHT'S DESIRE, CARINA AND THE NOBLEMAN, or REBEL HEART.

Thank you all for reading and commenting. And a big thank you to Anna for letting me guest blog today.

Good night all.

Caffey said...

Hi Anna! I loved REBEL BRIDE, that book is on my keepers shelf! And the Medieval sounds wonderful! Do count me in your contest, I'd love it!

Fascinating learning about Grazia Deledda. There's always been something about reading those who won Nobel Prizes. I only read of about a couple, and so good to learn about this woman. It was inspiring. Thanks!

guide-to-castles-of-europe said...


How do you keep up? We must one day have that bottle of wine at Blackwood Castle together. lol

Thanks for being a wonderful DCL author.


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