Rediscovering Alba Céspedes

Lara Feigel at The Guardian:

Postwar Italian neorealism was one of the most exciting literary movements of the 20th century, but it’s only recently that the female neorealists have had the attention they deserve. In 2018, the publisher Daunt began its vital championing of Natalia Ginzburg, and now Pushkin brings us Alba de Céspedes. These women were famous in their lifetimes but have been forgotten since, and I think we owe their rediscovery to our own need for a reinvigorated realist novel during a moment almost as crisis-laden as Italy in the 1940s.

It’s telling that many of today’s most sophisticated realists, Rachel Cusk and Sally Rooney among them, have been crucial in championing Ginzburg. And it’s no coincidence that all this began with Ferrante fever. Elena Ferrante herself owes so much to neorealism, and it’s she who has driven the rediscovery of Céspedes.

more here.