Alba de Cespedes (1911-1997)
Alba de Cespedes (March 11, 1911 - November 14, 1997) was author of two volumes of poetry. She was also a novelist, short-story writer, journalist, and script-writer who played an active role in the Italian feminist movement. She was put in prison on two different occasions for anti-Facist behavior. Her career in journalism started early with writing for small magazines as well as well-known journals such as La Stampa, Evoca, and Il Piccolo. Cespedes’s writings spoke out against male supremacy and traditional family conventions, although she is said to have kept her passion moderately contained in her writing in a clever way. Her use of detail is also praised. She started her own literary magazine, Il Mercurio, and published a few well-known feminists such as Sibilla Aleramo. Her works were translated into English, but she only became internationally known when her novel Quaderno proibito (or The Secret) was published. Although that novel advocated for all of her dearly held feminist beliefs, she had become tired of the overly-emotional ways of other feminists, so she denied that it was meant to be completely feminist.
Her books include There's No Turning Back (1938), The Best of Husbands (1949), Between Then and Now (1956), Remorse (1967), Before and After (1960), In the Dark of Night (1980). Her novel La Bambolona (1967) was adapted into a film by Franco Giraldi. She also wrote the screenplay for Michelangelo Antonioni's film Le Amiche (1955).
Cespedes lived in DC from 1914 to 1922, while her father served as Cuban Ambassador to the US.
written by Word Works intern Monica Root, September 2013; edited by Kim Roberts, January 2016.