Description - Stone Virgin by Barry Unsworth
When conservationist Simon Raikes goes to Venice to restore a statue of the Madonna, he is unprepared for the effect this stone virgin's strange, seductive beauty and mysterious past will have on his life. As he gradually peels away the layers of dirt from the statue, he becomes increasingly haunted by its potent history of sexual passion, greed, treachery and murder. Modelled on a beautiful prostitute in fifteenth-century Venice, its sculptor paid with his life when he fell in love with her. Then, in the eighteenth-century, a lecherous nobleman consummated an illicit affair beneath the statue, recalled in salacious detail in his memoirs. As Simon becomes caught in the heady sexual spell of the Madonna's story, he is also increasingly attracted to an enigmatic Italian woman, Chiara, the wife of a sculptor, and realises that the stone virgin's violent and erotic past is once again invading the present.
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(198mm x 129mm x 19mm)
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Author Biography - Barry Unsworth
Barry Unsworth was born in 1930 in Durham. He was the author of many novels, including Pascali s Island, which was shortlisted for the 1980 Booker Prize; Stone Virgin (1985); Sacred Hunger, which was joint winner of the 1992 Booker Prize; Morality Play, which was shortlisted for the 1995 Booker Prize; Losing Nelson (1999); The Songs of the King (2002); The Ruby in Her Navel (2006); Land of Marvels (2009); and The Quality of Mercy (2011), which was shortlisted for The Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction. Barry Unsworth died in 2012.