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Donatella Di Pietrantonio

Donatella Di Pietrantonio

Born in Teramo Province, Abruzzo, Donatella Di Pietrantonio completed her studies in the provincial capital, Aquila, and now lives in Penne. Her short fiction has been published by Granta Italy, and her novel, Bella mia, was nominated for the Strega Prize and won the Brancati Prize. A Girl Returned, her third novel, won the Campiello Prize.

All Donatella Di Pietrantonio's books

Latest reviews

  • If you loved the Elena Ferrante trilogy, you won’t want to miss A Girl Returned by Donatella Di Pietrantonio. I loved this story from the point of view of our unnamed heroine as she arrives at her birthparent’s front door, accompanied by the man she had previously thought...
    — Lit Picks, Sep 12 2019
  • Donatella Di Pietrantonio’s novel, A Girl, Returned is a heartwarming delight. Given the premise, this is a surprise. The girl, unceremoniously returned to her birth family at the age of 13, is never named. But she is the narrator, and she faces an uphill struggle. Cast off...
    — Lizzy's Literary Life, Aug 19 2019
  • This vivid novel begins with the narrator’s recollection of being returned to her birth mother, after learning that the woman who raised her is in fact a distant aunt. Nicknamed “arminuta”, “the one who was returned”, the narrator feels not so much returned as doubly...
    — The Guardian, Aug 17 2019
  • “… for anyone suffering withdrawal symptoms after finishing the [Elena Ferrante] saga.”
    — The Sunday Times, Aug 11 2019
  • Di Pietrantonio writes with deceptive simplicity. Every scene — every detail — is as meticulously rendered as a grain of sand. There is no sentimentality here, no excess at all, but delicacy of feeling, and depth.
    — StarTribune, Aug 2 2019
  • It is 1975, somewhere in the south of Italy. A thirteen year old girl drags a suitcase and a bag of shoes up the stairs of a tenement building in an unknown town. She is about to meet – and live with – people she has never met before. The girl telling her painful story is...
    — Shiny New Books, Jul 30 2019
  • In A Girl Returned, Donatella Di Pietrantonio’s award-winning novel, a nameless young woman retrospectively narrates the defining event of her adolescence—the year when the only family she has ever known returns her to her birth family. From the title, the reader can already...
    — Asymptote, Jul 15 2019
  • The unnamed narrator is 13, raised by two affectionate parents in a comfortable city home where she has her own room. School, swim and dance lessons, a nearby best friend, the sea a short walk away are the life she's known. And then, one August afternoon in 1975, she's driven...
    — Shelf Awareness, Jul 15 2019
  • “I was a child of separations, false or unspoken kinships, distances,” says Arminuta (the “girl returned”) in Donatella Di Pietrantonio’s novel, her first published in English. Returned by the mother who raised her to the mother she didn’t know conceived her, Arminuta...
    — NewStateman, Jul 3 2019
  • “A captivating tale about the trials of settling down, fitting in and battling on amid emotional upheaval.” “I was the arminuta, the one who was returned.” So says the narrator of Donatella Di Pietrantonio’s third novel (entitled “L’Arminuta” in Italy),...
    — The Economist, Jun 27 2019
  • Di Pietrantonio [has a] lively way with a phrase (the translator, Ann Goldstein, shows the same sensitivity she does with Elena Ferrante) [and] a fine instinct for detail.
    — The Washington Post, Jun 13 2019
  • "Goldstein’s translation flows smoothly, giving American readers a glimpse of a different time and place. Di Pietrantonio’s story has the feel of a memoir as much as literary fiction; it perfectly captures an unusual situation in one girl’s life.”
    — Publishers Weekly, Jun 4 2019
  • ”A gripping, deeply moving coming-of-age novel; immensely readable, beautifully written, and highly recommended.”
    — Kirkus Review, May 12 2019

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