Synopses & Reviews
Despite the misogynist ideology of Italian Fascism, and contrary to the picture drawn in the most post-war literary histories and anthologies, the 1920s and 1930s were a time of wide publication and both popular and critical recognition for female authors in Italy. Focusing on the cultural pages of three major daily newspapers of the period, Robin Pickering-Iazzi discovered a wealth of contributions by famous and less-known woman that have been unavailable to readers in Italy as well as the United States for over 60 years. Expertly translated, these 16 stories are evidence not only of the high literary quality of this body of work but also of resistance to the self-sacrificing ideal of the "New Woman" of Fascism. The memorable female characters in Unspeakable Women adopt a varying strategies to create their own identities and agency regarding writing, sexuality, marriage, and family-all in opposition to the repressive norms of the culture. The stories are by Grazia Deledda, who won the Noble Prize for Literature in 1926, Maria Luisa Astaldi, Gianna Manzini, Ada Negri, Carola Prosperi, Pia Rimini, and Clarice Tartufari.