Maria Messina (1887-1944) was hailed by Leonardo Sciascia as the ‘Italian Katherine Mansfield’. Born in Palermo, then later moved between Umbria, Tuscany, the Marches, and Naples. After teaching herself to read and write, she wrote stories focused on the lives of rural women in Sicily. According to various sources, she was a shy woman who barely ventured outside her home, then later her isolation was exacerbated when she began suffering from multiple sclerosis.   In 1910, she received the Medal of Gold for her first book of stories, Pettini-fini (Fine Combs).
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