Since Grazia Deledda claimed that her writing was based upon her Sardinian background, and her characters on those of her youth and her own ""soul,"" it is only appropriate that a biography of this 1926 Nobel-Prize winning author concentrate as this does on her youth and her culture. No doubt Balducci went to Deledda's writings to discover her ethnic and spiritual roots, but the reader is left wishing for some documentation suggesting just what these sources were. For, alas, it appears that much must have been lost in translation. Balducci's account is matter-of-fact, bordering on dull. In what is probably an attempt to be objective in describing obviously subjective, often mystical experiences and impressions, the biographer eliminates their probable impact. There remains much of interest in the life of a mostly self-educated peasant girl who transcended the usual and expected future for a 19th-century Sardinian woman to become art internationally acclaimed Nobel Laureate. But since it appears that little of Deledda's work is available in English translation, the appeal of this biography to American teenagers is questionable.