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Forbidden Notebook


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About the Author

Alba de Cespedes (1911-97) was a bestselling Italian-Cuban novelist, poet and screenwriter. The granddaughter of the first President of Cuba, de Cespedes was raised in Rome. Married at 15 and a mother by 16, she began her writing career after her divorce at the age of 20. She worked as a journalist throughout the 1930s while also taking an active part in the Italian partisan struggle, and was twice jailed for her anti-fascist activities. After the fall of fascism, she founded the literary journal Mercurio and went on to become one of Italy's most successful and most widely translated authors. Her Side of the Story is also forthcoming from Pushkin Press.


'One of Italy's most cosmopolitan, incendiary, insightful, and overlooked writers' - Jhumpa Lahiri

'The absorbing and abidingly resonant confession of a woman's desire to do that most elusive thing: forge a self apart from her caring for others. Forbidden Notebook can also be read as an allegory of fascism, a post-Roe cautionary tale, and corroboration of the revelatory and exhilarating but also implosive power of honest words.' - Lisa Halliday, bestselling author of Asymmetry

'While I'm writing, I confine myself to occasionally reading books that keep me company not as entertainment but as solid companions. I call them books of encouragement, like those by Alba de Cespedes' - Elena Ferrante

'A fearlessly probing and candid look at marital dynamics and generational divisions, first published in Italy in 1952... Goldstein's translation invigorates a remarkable story, one that remains intensely relevant across time, cultures, and continents' - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

'A wrenching, sardonic depiction of a woman caught in a social trap' - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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