Girl in a Turban

Marta Morazzoni, Author
Marta Morazzoni, Author Alfred A. Knopf $16.95 (157p) ISBN 978-0-394-56115-8
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
In each of the five stories in this stunning debut, Morazzoni meticulously charts the process of dying. Set in Europe during various historical periods, the beautifully cadenced tales depict moments of insight or deep emotion, illuminated with unusual clarity. In ``The White Door,'' she imagines the last, bitter days of Mozart, unable to finish his Requiem or communicate with his gay and talkative wife, even to play the card games he adores. Alone, and in the final dark, he laughs aloud. Less poignant, but equally brilliant in detail, is the title story, in which an art dealer, obsessed with beauty, takes an arduous journey from Scheveningen to Copenhagen to sell to a Danish nobleman the Vermeer painting he cherishes almost as much as money. After both men die, the nobleman's daughter offers to return the painting to the merchant's son, who has inherited only his father's interest in matters financial. Like ``The Death of Ivan Ilich,'' the last of these stories, ``Order in the House,'' records the terrible struggle of a man, paralyzed by a stroke, to reenter life. Slowly his eyes begin to flicker with understanding, as spring brightens his window. But his wife, sho sits at his bedside awaiting the collapse of the useless body, never looks into his eyes. Compelling evocation of place and character and a rich prose style mark Morazzoni as a writer of exceptional talent. (September)
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