After the War: A Collection of Short Fiction by Postwar Italian Women
Since the publication of Martha King’s "New Italian Women: A Collection of Short Fiction" by Italica Press in 1989, a whole new generation of women writers, born and educated after World War II, has grown up on the Italian literary scene. They lived through the revolution of the late 1960s and have enjoyed economic and social advantages unimaginable by previous generations. The militant 1960s and ’70s also broke down many traditional barriers that had kept women at home and restricted their job possibilities. Broader experiences provided women writers of the post-war generation with new material for creative expression and new attitudes to explore.
An entirely new range of subjects displaces the autobiographical and memory writing of earlier years. This younger generation deals more openly with sexual themes and shows a willingness to take on heretofore unmentionable topics. They describe abuse, mental illness, the body and erotic relationships are described with a new frankness. At the same time, they treat the realities of modernity — apartment living, the television, pop music and the internet, the Americanization of the culture and the language — as the tangible background of their fictions, often with cutting satire or subversive wit.
The wider horizons of this post-war generation, and greater artistic freedom, have given them new subjects to explore. These writers have taken their rightful place in the mainstream of current fiction, often at a surprisingly young age, as they imaginatively explore their expanding world with an unapologetic openness and with the unflinching courage to reveal contemporary reality in a variety of voices. Their literary precursors would be proud.
Authors include Silvia Ballestra, Camilla Baresani, Rosanna Campo, Paola Capriolo, Antonella Cilento, Emilia Cirillo, Carmen Covito, Maria Rosa Cutrufelli, Elena Ferrante, Margherita Giacobino, Margaret Mazzantini, Melania G. Mazzucco, Marta Morazzoni, Laura Pariani, Romana Petri, Sandra Petrignani, Elisabetta Rasy, Monica Sarsini, Clara Sereni, Susanna Tamaro, Valeria Viganò, and Simona Vinci.
Translators include Maryann De Julio, Carmine G. Di Biase, Adria Frizzi, Ann Gagliardi, Angela M. Jeannet, Martha King, Carol Lazzaro-Weis, Barbara Nucci, Minna Proctor, Martha Witt, Mary Ann Frese Witt, and Sharon Wood.