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Alba de Céspedes

Biography

Alba de Céspedes was born in Rome in 1911. Her grandfather, was known as the Father of the Nation in Cuba, as it was he who started the first revolt against Spain and he became the first president of Cuba. Her father, also called Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, was also briefly president of Cuba but served as an ambassador to various European countries but, in particular, to Italy, where he met Laura Bertini, a recently divorced Italian woman whom he married. Alba was their only child. She was privately educated. She married in Paris when she was only fifteen but the marriage did not last. Many of her books are about unhappy marriages.

Her first published work was a short story. She then started writing for the newspapers but published a collection of short stories. Her first novel was originally intended to be a screenplay. After publishing a book of poetry and another collection of stories, she met the publisher Arnoldo Mondadori and he signed her to a contract. Her next novel, Nessuno torna indietro (There’s No Turning Back), brought her considerable success. During the war, she moved to the South of Italy with the man who was to become her second husband. In 1944, she founded a journal called Mercurio, which lasted four years. After the war, her husband was a diplomat and she accompanied him to the United States and the Soviet Union. She would later move to Paris, where she would publish her last two books in French and where she spent the rest of her life. She died in 1997. Though considered one of the most important Italian women writers, her reputation, despite a brief increase after her death, has started to fade again and most of her books are out of print.

Links

Alba de Céspedes
Obituary
Alba de Céspedes (in Italian)
Alba de Céspedes (in Italian)
Alba de Céspedes (in Italian)
Il decennale della morte di Alba de Céspedes (in Italian)
La biblioteca di Alba de Céspedes (in Italian)

Bibliography

1935 L’anima degli altri (stories)
1935 Io, suo padre: Romanzo sportivo (novel)
1936 Prigionie (poetry)
1937 Concerto (stories)
1938 Nessuno torna indietro (There’s No Turning Back) (novel)
1940 Fuga (stories)
1949 Dalla parte di lei (The Best of Husbands) (novel)
1952 Quaderno proibito (The Secret) (novel)
1955 Prima e dopo (Between Then and Now) (novel)
1955 Invito a pranzo (stories)
1963 Il rimorso (Remorse) (novel)
1967 La bambolona (La Bambolona) (novel)
1968 Chansons des filles de mai (poetry)
1970 Le ragazze di maggio (poetry)
1973 Sans autre lieu que la nuit (novel)