In the early twentieth century one Italian woman, Grazia Deledda, achieved such status in the literary world that publishers in Italy vied for her vels, and editors felt houred to publish her short stories and 'sketches' in their newspapers and journals. Her fiction was translated into every European and numerous n-European languages. She was as well kwn and widely read and discussed as any writer of her time, including Gabriele D'Annunzio and Luigi Pirandello. In 1926 she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Now, almost seventy years after her death, her vels continue to be reprinted and translated, and critical appreciation of her work continues to grow. Her works still live and have the power to mover her readers. Previous critics, unable to pigeonhole her fiction, traced her influences and tried to find elements in her style that aligned it with romanticism, naturalism, realism, or decadentism, igring her own repeated assertions that she simply wrote the truth about life in Sardinia as she had observed and experienced it herself. Considering the writer they had to deal with makes their nearsighted misjudgements easier to fathom.
Martha King went to Italy from Austin, Texas, with a grant to finish a translation of Leopardi's Libaldone. She thought that she might stay a year or two , but never left. She has published extensively on Italian literature since the late 1970s.