Italian Women Writers During Fascism

Here is some background information about the women authors and poets whose work was mentioned in my literary paper!

Grazia Deledda (Accessed 12/10/05)

Grazia Maria Cosima Damiana Deledda was born in Nuoro, Sardinia, to the respectable bourgeois parents Giovanni Antonio Deledda and Francesca Cambosu Pereleddu, on September 27, 1871. She received only a few years of formal education, which ended when she was eleven; her schooling was then self-imposed and principally carried out through extensive reading of Italian, Russian, French, and English literature of the period, and through contact with people more learned than she. Deledda began publishing stories and novels at a very young age in local papers, despite the shocked reaction of the society of Nuoro and the opposition of her family. In Cagliari in 1899, Deledda met Palmiro Madesani, a civil servant for the Ministero delle Finanze; two months later, in January 1900, they married and moved to Rome, where Deledda lived the rest of her life. She had two sons, Franz and Sardus, and reportedly eschewed the world of Roman society for a tranquil domestic life. Her literary production remained fervid at almost a book a year. Her best and most known works are her novels and collections of short stories, but she also wrote poetry, essays, theatrical works, articles on folklore, and stories for children, and published a translation of Balzac's Eugenia Grandet. She received the 1926 Nobel Prize for Literature, although her accomplishment has long been tarnished by the suspicion that she won the prize over her compatriot Matilde Serao for political reasons. She died of breast cancer in Rome in 1936.

Carola Prosperia

Maria Bandini Buti, Enciclopedia biografica e bibliografica italiana: poetesse e scrittrici (Roma, 1942), vol. 2, p. 153.

Carola Prosperi was born in 1883 in Turin, Italy. She was married, but her husband's name is unknown. It is also unclear whether she had children. Prosperi was a teacher and journalist. She won the Rovetta in 1911 for La paura d'amare. She died in 1981.

Sibilla Aleramo (Accessed 12/10/05)

Sibilla Aleramo was born in Alessandria, Italy to bourgeois parents, Ambrogio Faccio and Ernesta Cottimo in 1876. She was married to Ulderico Pierangeli in 1893, then separated.  They had one child, Walter Pierangeli. During her lifetime, Aleramo also had many lovers. Her education went only as far as middle school. She went on to become a writer, editor, and translator. Her most famous work is Una donna, an autobiographical account of a woman struggling to free herself from her marriage and domestic life in search of her self. She won two prizes, Viareggio and Versilia, in 1948 for Selva d'amore. Sibilla Aleramo died in Rome in 1960.

Ada Negri (Accessed 12/10/05)

Ada Negriwas born in Lodi in 1870 to an artisan family, and became a village school-teacher. Her first poems, Fatalita (1892, tr. Fate and Other Poems, 1898) voiced bitter protest against the state of the poor. Her passionate lyrics, developed in Maternita (1904), reached their climax in Il libro di Mara (1919). Canti dell'isola (1924) sang of the beauty of Capri. In her last years Negri took refuge in religion and her last volumes of poetry, Vespertina (1931) and Il dono (1936), express resignation and serenity. Her prose includes Le solitarie (1917), short stories, and the autobiographical novel Stella mattutina (1921, tr. Morning Star, 1930). She became the first woman member of the Italian Academy in 1940. Negri died in 1945.

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