Elsa Morante (18 August, 1812 – 25 November, 1985) was an Italian poet, translator, children’s book author and novelist. He novel La Historia is in the 100 Best Books of All Time list of the Bokklubben World Library.
Fun Facts about Elsa Morante:
1. Elsa Morante was born in Rome, Italy to Augusto and Irma. Her mother, Irma, was a schoolteacher and came from a Jewish family.
2. As a teenager, young Ms. Morante discovered that a family neighbor was her biological father.
3. Relying on herself with little support from her parents, Elsa started writing when she was very young. In the mid 1930s she managed to publish some short stories in various journals and periodicals.
4. In 1941, Elsa Morante’s first book, The Secret Game (Il Gioco Segreto) was published, she also got married that same year.
5. Ms. Morante married novelist Alberto Moravia. Even though she never completed her education, she found herself associated with the top of Italian wordsmiths of the time.
6. During World War II Mr. and Mrs. Morante fled Rome to Southern Lazio for fear of the Nazis discovering Elsa Morante’s Jewish heritage.
8. During her time hiding, she started translating the works of New Zealand writer Katherine Mansfield.
9. At great personal risk, Elsa Morante returned to Rome to retrieve a manuscript and winter clothes. The manuscript would become her 1948 novel Menzogna e sortilegio (House of Liars) which tells of a southern Italian family through a young woman’s imagination. Mrs. Morante won the Strega Prize for the novel.
10. Elsa Morante’s most famous novel, La storia (Hisory) published in 1974 was met with mixed criticism, but readers loved it. The story takes place in Rome, between 1941 and 1947, focusing on a half-Jewish elementary school teacher and her son, who was born after she was raped by a German soldier.
Zohar – Man of la Book
*Amazon links point to an affiliate account, the money is usually spent on books