Photo Maria Rosa Cutrufelli S
Maria Rosa Cutrufelli (photo courtesy of the author)

The Italian novelist and journalist, Maria Rosa Cutrufelli, is one of the most prominent figures in Italian feminism today. She was born in Messina in 1946 to a Florentine mother who worked as a homemaker and occasional translator from French, and a Sicilian father, who was a chemist interested in studying the effects of pollution on both the natural environment and the human body. Cutrufelli has stated that her father’s environmentalist stance deeply inspired her 2020 novel L’isola delle madri [The Island of Mothers]. 

Sicily, Florence, and Bologna represent three significant spaces that shaped Maria Rosa’s nomadic childhood and youth. When she was only a few years old, her family moved to Bologna because of her father’s job. She attended the famous Liceo Galvani in the 1960s, a period which coincided with the early days of the Sessantotto movement, when – in parallel with other European countries and the United States – young people inaugurated a season of rebellions against the status quo, by protesting against the war and, more generally, any authoritarian system. This period is also generally considered as the beginning of second-wave feminism, which in Italy was particularly intense and diverse.

Having completed her studies, Maria Rosa started to work as a teacher and soon got involved in feminist autocoscienza (awareness-raising) groups, founding the first feminist group in Bologna, Lotta Femminista. After living between Bologna and Florence for a few years, in 1972 she returned to Sicily, choosing to live in the small town of Gela and work as a teacher in nearby Riesi. There Cutrufelli formed another feminist collective, also called Lotta Femminista, and worked together with other women, such as Gela-born writer and scholar Edvige Giunta. Lotta Femminista became the first awareness-raising group in Sicily and constitutes a particularly important case study in the history of Italian feminist activism as a whole.

Cutrufelli’s return to Sicily also stands as a crucial phase in her intellectual development as well as her writing career. On the one hand, being in Sicily in the early 1970s meant that she was suddenly surrounded by the patriarchal culture of a backward South – the opposite of the progressive environment she had been accustomed to in Northern Italy; on the other, during the three years spent in Sicily, Cutrufelli’s feminist engagement became even more intense and specific, because the closeness with women from different social strata refined and expanded her ideas on the intersection between women and class, thus inspiring her future writings.

While her literary career started relatively late with La briganta (1990) [The Woman Outlaw, 2004]), Cutrufelli’s first published work dates back to 1974. It is a dense historical essay entitled L’unità d’Italia  guerra contadina e nascita del sottosviluppo del sud [The Unification of Italy ‒ Peasant War and the Origins of Underdevelopment in the South]. In the same year, Cutrufelli published her first overtly feminist study, L’invenzione della donna. Miti e tecniche di uno sfruttamento [The Invention of Woman. Myths and Technologies of Exploitation], in which her Marxist background is interwoven with a lucid criticism of patriarchy. At the same time, she began working with Italian newspapers, journals such as Terzo Mondo, cultural periodicals as well as Noi donne, the official periodical of the Unione Donne Italiane (a.k.a. UDI).

During the 1970s, Sicily became a productive space for Cutrufelli from which she could observe various forms of Southern female subalternity from the point of view of the island’s women. This interest in her native Sicily was to powerfully affect her later works of fiction and remained at the core of her writings throughout that decade, as exemplified in Disoccupata con onore [1975; Honourably Unemployed]. However, the transregional quality of female exploitation in Italy is already evident in Operaie senza fabbrica: inchiesta sul lavoro a domicilio (1977) [Women Workers without a Factory: An Investigation into Home Working]. The former is a study of Sicilian female labour and the perpetuation of Western cultural and economic capitalism as a way of keeping the South in a subaltern condition; the latter focuses on the exploitation of female piece work in the textile industry in the Bologna area.

Cutrufelli’s engagement with the issues faced by feminism within capitalist societies continued with many essays and articles, in which her preoccupation with the female condition often displayed a productive and insightful tension between gender, class, and race. The awareness of the intersection between these aspects became a crucial motif in her social and feminist commitment to develop a critique of Western imperialism triggered by long periods spent in several African countries (the Republic of Congo/Zaire, Ghana, Zambia, and Senegal, as well as Angola and Somalia) during the 1970s and the 1980s.

In her Donna perché piangi? Imperialismo e condizione femminile nell’Africa nera (1976) [Women of Africa: Roots of Oppression, 1983], Cutrufelli analysed how neo-colonialist policies had affected the female condition in Sub-Saharian Africa. Mama Africa. Storie di donne e di utopie [Mama Africa. Stories of Women and Utopias] came out in 1989 (repr.1993), a successful essay-travelogue that describes Cutrufelli’s life in Angola and Zaire in 1975-1976 and recounts her direct experience as a witness of the Angolan wars for independence.

In spite of the negative response and accusations of essentialism from important non-Western feminists such as Chandra Talpade Mohanty (who at the time of the English translation of the book judged Donna perché piangi? very negatively), one can consider Cutrufelli’s gendered perspective on African women as a highly intuitive and invaluable anticipation of more recent works by several Black and Chicano feminist thinkers (e.g., Mohanty herself, bell hooks, Gloria Anzaldúa and Cherry Moraga, to name but a few). Re-read with today’s understanding, Cutrufelli’s work from the 1970s foresees some of the terms of the contemporary debates around intersectional feminisms, as well as the new challenges posed by the idea of a Global South, in whose frameworks African realities remain marginal. Cutrufelli provided an answer to Mohanty along these lines in Serena Todesco’s book-length interview Campo a due. Dialogo con Maria Rosa Cutrufelli (2021) [Sharing the Field. A Dialogue with Maria Rosa Cutrufelli].

Following a few more years spent between Rome and numerous foreign countries, at the end of the 1970s Cutrufelli relocated permanently to Rome and became involved in cooperative movements (working for the Lega delle Cooperative), while continuing to work as a writer and journalist. During this time she published Economia e politica dei sentimenti: la 'produzione femminile' (1980) [The Economics and Politics of Feelings: The 'Female Production'] and the first comprehensive study of prostitution in Italy as a business, Il cliente: inchiesta sulla domanda di prostituzione (1981) [The Client: An Investigation into the Demand for Prostitution]. Another book on this subject came out in 1996, Il denaro in corpo. Inchiesta sulla domanda di sesso commerciale [Embodied Money: An Investigation into the Demand for Commercial Sex]. Cutrufelli considers prostitution as closely connected with her long-standing investigation into capitalist forms of exploitation of women’s bodies. Her perspective was, in the early 1980s, highly controversial and marginalised, because it subverted the current dominant discourses that tended to criminalise women as perpetuating the practice of prostitution. 30 years later, Giorgia Serughetti, a young feminist sociologist, acknowledged Cutrufelli’s pioneering work in this field, asking her to write the foreword to her Uomini che pagano le donne. Dalla strada al web, i clienti nel mercato del sesso contemporaneo (2013) [Men Who Pay Women. From the Street to the Web, the Customers of the Contemporary Sex Market].

The 1980s saw a flourishing of cultural and publishing initiatives in the field of women’s literary studies in Italy, as feminist publishers founded in the 1970s started to expand their interests beyond political and/or ideological content. In parallel with the growth of the Italian feminist thought of the Diotima group in Verona, the period known as ‘femminismo diffuso’ [widespread feminism] promoted the creation of a network of collaborations and projects, which facilitated the emergence of Italian women writers and laid the foundations of Italy’s feminist literary criticism. Thus, in 1990 Cutrufelli at last began writing fiction and made a name for herself in Italian feminist literary criticism with essays, pamphlets, and anthologies. In the same year she founded and co-edited an innovative literary magazine called Tuttestorie, together with Marisa Rusconi, a feminist writer, and Rosaria Guacci, a prominent feminist editor working for the publishing house La Tartaruga. Tuttestorie continued to be published between 1990 and 2001 and played a significant role in the public debate around women’s writing in Italy. Not only did the magazine pay particular attention to contemporary Italian women writers by featuring known authors (e.g. Anna Maria Ortese, Luce D’Eramo, and Natalia Ginzburg) as well as younger generations of writers (e.g., Silvia Ballestra and Rossana Campo), it also welcomed the work of numerous male writers, interrogating them on their somewhat ambiguous relationship with a patriarchy-driven literary scene, one in which issues of an ostensibly male canon and (in)visibility of women’s literature remain scarcely discussed. The 1990s were also characterised by collaborations with fellow feminist writers and intellectuals, leading to the creation of the group Controparola with writers Dacia Maraini and Elena Gianini Belotti and politically committed journalists Laura Lilli, Chiara Valentini and Elena Doni. The group produced several books dedicated to forgotten moments of female history.

With her 1990 debut-novel La briganta Cutrufelli reprised some of her ideas on her native Italian South. La briganta is a first-person historical narrative by Margherita, a noblewoman who kills her oppressive husband and joins a group of brigands during the period of the Italian Unification. Not only does Margherita challenge her own class, she also subverts patriarchal expectations of her sex when she decides to dress as a man. Along with bitter criticism of the outcomes of Italian Unification and its disastrous impact on the political autonomy of the South, the novel thematises the blurring of gender identities as part of a larger mechanism of resistance vis-à-vis heteronormative sexuality, especially when Margherita has to face her own physical desire for a woman. The 1990s and the 2000s marked the beginning of a new narrative path in which Cutrufelli explored, in different ways, the vite perdute [lost lives] of women and told the stories of women who had exited and/or challenged patriarchy in order to find themselves. Historical fiction is Cutrufelli’s favourite genre, but she has also successfully tried her hand at other fictional genres. First-person narratives are often adopted, along with a preference for polyphonic and dialogic perspectives that sustain the plot by highlighting the importance of relationality, especially among women.

After La briganta, lesbian desire and subversion of heteronormativity return in the crime novel Complice il dubbio (1992) [Complicitous Doubt], where Anna and Marta develop a relationship after the former’s male lover is murdered. In 1999 a film adaptation was released, entitled Le complici [The Accomplices] and directed by Emanuela Piovano. Relationality and transformation are also the main themes of Canto al deserto. Storia di Tina, soldato di mafia (1994) [Song to the Desert. The Story of Tina, a Mafia Soldier], a story partly based on the real-life figure of Emanuela Azzarelli, a Sicilian young woman who became the leader of a male teenage mafia gang in Gela. Just like La brigantaCanto al deserto epitomizes Cutrufelli’s deep concern for those silenced female lives that are asking to be heard. Correctly defined by Edvige Giunta as ‘the first feminist novel on women and mafia’ (Feminist Writers, p. 126), the novel blends autobiography, history, and chronicle, and represents the writer’s attempt to renegotiate her personal relationship with her Sicilian identity and heritage. Rather than thematising a general nostalgia for an idealised South, Cutrufelli decides to tell the story of Emanuela/Tina in order to confront the sense of uncanny otherness that her Southern memories trigger, while also delivering a ferocious criticism of the alliance between mafia and patriarchal culture. It is significant that Cutrufelli’s subsequent novel, Il paese dei figli perduti (1999) [The Land of Lost Children], expands on the themes of consciousness development and self-discovery enabled by unexpected cross-cultural encounters. This novel’s protagonist, young Anna Paola, redefines her subjectivity while on a journey to Australia to find her father.

A polyphony of micro-histories is at the core of La donna che visse per un sogno (2004) [The Woman Who Lived for a Dream], where the life of pioneering feminist and civil rights activist Olympe de Gouges crosses the lives of other women during the French Revolution. The recipient of numerous awards (Premio Alghero Donna, Premio Penne, Premio Racalmare Leonardo Sciascia), this novel was also shortlisted for the prestigious Premio Strega in 2004. In 2016, a student theatre company based at the Scuola Internazionale Europea Altiero Spinelli (Turin) adapted the text as a play entitled Olympe de Gouges. Io sono la mia opera [Olympe de Gouges. I Am My Own Creation].

The ‘dialogic monologue’ – in which a character interacts verbally with another who remains silent – is used in D’amore e d’odio (2008) [Of Love and Hate], an ambitious historical novel where the 20th-century is reconstructed through the lives of different generations of Italian women. The overall project shows once again Cutrufelli’s love for archival research, together with her interest in deconstructing official historiographical accounts. In two more historical novels – I bambini della Ginestra (2012) [The Children of the Ginestra] and Il giudice delle donne (2016) [The Women’s Judge] – Cutrufelli deploys an original poetic mixture of archive material and fiction to uncover unknown episodes in Italian history. Her latest L’isola delle madri (2020) [The Island of Mothers] experiments with the genre of dystopia, while bringing together numerous topoi that have characterised the writer’s literary production in the past 30 years: a passion for feminist politics, a non-essentialist exploration of female corporeality, a search for alternative social models. Cutrufelli’s feminist engagement continues, as confirmed by her long list of book-length essays, pamphlets, and newspaper articles, and by her intergenerational collaborations with younger feminist writers and scholars. Her latest book, Maria Giudice. La leonessa del socialismo (2022), is a fictional biography of Socialist activist and political theorist Maria Giudice, the mother of Sicilian writer and actress Goliarda Sapienza (1924-1996) who was a close friend of Cutrufelli.

Cutrufelli lives and works in Rome, where she is actively engaged in several feminist and literary initiatives. She is the President of the Centro di Documentazione Internazionale Alma Sabatini, an important archive and documentation centre founded in 1989, and is dedicated to questions of language and gender. Cutrufelli’s novels have been translated into several languages and sold in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Lithuania, Poland, Greece, Türkiye, Brazil, Canada, and the United States.

Compiled by Serena Todesco



La briganta (Palermo: La Luna, 1990; repr. Milano: Frassinelli, 2005)

Complice il dubbio (Milan: Interno giallo, 1992; repr. Milan: Frassinelli, 2006)

Canto al deserto. Storia di Tina, soldato di mafia (Milan: Longanesi, 1994)

Il paese dei figli perduti (Milan: Tropea, 1999; repr. Milan: Sperling & Kupfer, 2017)

La donna che visse per un sogno (Milan: Frassinelli, 2004; repr. Milan: Sperling & Kupfer, 2016)

Terrona (Troina: Città aperta junior, 2004) [Children’s book]

D’amore e d’odio (Milan: Frassinelli, 2008)

I bambini della Ginestra (Milan: Frassinelli, 2012)

Il giudice delle donne (Milan: Frassinelli, 2016)

L’isola delle madri (Milan: Mondadori, 2020)

Maria Giudice. La leonessa del socialismo (Rome: Giulio Perrone Editore, 2022)

Short Stories

‘Doppie passioni’ in Adele Cambria et al.: La guerra, il cuore e la parola (Siracusa: Ombra Editrice, 1991)

‘Le colline del Nord’ in Il pozzo segreto: Cinquanta scrittrici italiane ed. by Maria Rosa Cutrufelli, Rosaria Guacci, and Marisa Rusconi (Florence: Giunti, 1993)

‘Madonna Gasparina’ in 16 racconti italiani ed. by Lucia Manenti and Lidia Zorat (Brescia: Libreria Rinascita Editrice, 1994, pp. 25-38)

‘Balsamo di tigre’ in Horror erotico ed. by Franco Forte (Viterbo: Stampa Alternativa, 1995)

‘Regalo di nozze’ in Principesse azzurre. Racconti d’amore e di vita di donne tra donne ed. by Delia Vaccarello (Milan: Oscar Mondadori, 2003, pp. 19-24)

‘Silenzi e segreti’ in Principesse azzurre 2. Racconti d’amore e di vita di donne tra donne ed. by Delia Vaccarello (Milan: Oscar Mondadori, 2004, pp. 39-52)

‘La regina delle nevi’ in Principesse azzurre 3. Racconti d’amore e di vita di donne tra donne ed. by Delia Vaccarello (Milan: Oscar Mondadori, 2005)

‘I giardini dietro casa’ in Eros up! Principesse azzurre in amore ed. by Delia Vaccarello (Milan: Mondadori, 2008)

‘Io c’ero’ in Per sempre ragazzo. Racconti e poesie a dieci anni dall’uccisione di Carlo Giuliani ed. by Paola Staccioli (Milan: Tropea, 2011)

‘Fuoco a Manhattan’ in Gianfranco Bettin et al.: Lavoro vivo, afterword by Bruno Papignani (Rome: Alegre, 2012). Available online at

‘La cosacca (Anna Kulishoff’)’ in Olivia Corio et al.: Mappe sulla pelle (Florence: Editpress, 2012, pp. 24-37)

‘Erano i giorni migliori, erano i giorni peggiori’ in Scritto nella memoria. Nove racconti italiani ed. by Marco Vichi (Florence: Guanda, 2016)

Non-Fiction: Historical and Sociological Writings

L’unità d’Italia  guerra contadina e nascita del sottosviluppo del Sud (Verona: Bertani, 1974)

L’invenzione della donna. Miti e tecniche di uno sfruttamento (Milan: Mazzotta, 1974)

Disoccupata con onore. Lavoro e condizione della donna (Milan: Mazzotta, 1975)

Donna perché piangi? Imperialismo e condizione femminile nell’Africa nera (Milan: Mazzotta, 1976)

Operaie senza fabbrica. Inchiesta sul lavoro a domicilio (Rome: Editori Riuniti, 1977)

[ed.] Le donne protagoniste nel movimento cooperativo. La questione femminile in un’organizzazione produttiva democratica (Milan: Feltrinelli, 1978)

Economia e politica dei sentimenti. La “produzione femminile” (Rome: Editori Riuniti, 1980)

Il cliente: inchiesta sulla domanda di prostituzione (Rome: Editori Riuniti, 1981)

Cutrufelli, Maria Rosa and Marta Nicolini [eds]: La forza delle donne nel movimento cooperativo. Qualità sociale, imprenditorialità, forme organizzative (Rome: Editrice Cooperativa, 1987)

‘Sordità tra noi donne. Ecco cosa può renderci più deboli’ (L’Unità, 30 October 1990)

Mama Africa. Storia di donna e di utopie (Milan: Sipiel, 1989; repr. Milan: Feltrinelli, 1993)

Cutrufelli, Maria Rosa, Elena Doni, and Elena Gianini Belotti [eds]: Piccole italiane: un raggiro durato vent’anni (Milan: Anabasi, 1994)

‘Quei calci presi dalla mia ragazza di mafia’ (L’Unità, 15 November 1994)

Il denaro in corpo. Inchiesta sulla domanda di sesso commerciale (Milan: Tropea, 1996)

Le cinque spine (Milan: La Tartaruga, 1997)

Giorni d’acqua corrente (Parma: Pratiche Editrice, 2002)

‘Il mondo visto da Gela’ (70 gli anni in cui il futuro è cominciato, 3, 1972; repr. Liberazione, 22 February 2007). Available online at

Ricordi d’Africa (San Cesario di Lecce: Manni, 2009)

‘Com’è cambiato il mercato delle donne’ (Ingenere, 26 March 2010). Available online at

‘La lotta di classe non fa più schermo alla lotta di sesso’ (Il 68 delle donne. Supplemento a il manifesto. 27 March 2018, pp. 29-30)

‘Rosa Luxemburg, la femminista riluttante’ (Alternative per il socialismo. Questa volta parliamo di Rosa, 56, 2019, Rome: Castelvecchi, pp. 75-80). Available online at

‘Prefazione’ to Giorgia Serughetti: Uomini che pagano le donne. Dalla strada al web, i clienti nel mercato del sesso contemporaneo (Rome: Ediesse, 2019)

‘La battaglia contro la “cultura barbuta” dei cari compagni’ (L’Unità, 20 January 2021). Available online at

Literary Criticism and Edited Anthologies of Short Stories

Firmato donna: scritture, scrittrici (Milan: Longanesi, 1988)

‘Alla conquista delle scrittrici: un nuovo mercato per l’industria editoriale’ in Firmato donna. Scrittura, scrittrici ed. by Maria Rosa Cutrufelli (Milan: Longanesi, 1988, pp. 125-133)

‘Scritture, scrittrici. L’esperienza italiana’ in Donne e scrittura ed. by Daniela Corona (Palermo: La Luna, 1990, pp. 237-245)

‘Un mondo di parole che parte dal corpo’ (Noi donne: Legendaria, 6, June-August 1990)

‘On the Difficulty of Writing About Oneself: Olive Schreiner and Mariama Bâ’ in The Flawed Diamond: Essays on Olive Schreiner ed. by Itala Vivan (Sydney: Dangaroo Press, 1991)

‘Alice Ceresa: simulazione e dissimulazione’ (Tuttestorie, 2.1, 1991, pp. 7-8); repr. as ‘Simulazione e dissimulazione’ in Abbecedario della differenza. Omaggio ad Alice Ceresa ed. by Laura Fortini and Alessandra Pigliaru (Milan: Nottetempo, 2020, pp. 133-138)

Cutrufelli, Maria Rosa, Rosaria Guacci, and Marisa Rusconi [eds]: Il pozzo segreto. Cinquanta scrittrici italiane (Florence: Giunti, 1993)

‘Il filo della scrittura’ in Femminile e maschile tra pensiero e discorso ed. by Patrizia Cordin et al. (Trento: Università degli Studi di Trento, 1995, pp. 149-160)

‘La spietatezza di una scrittrice moderna’ in Ciao bella. Ventun percorsi di critica letteraria femminile ed. by Rosaria Guacci and Bruna Miorelli (Milan: Lupetti, 1996, pp. 189-194)

‘In the Kingdom of Persephone’, trans. Edvige Giunta (VIA: Voices in Italian Americana, 7.2, 1996, pp. 101-112). Available online at

‘Creazione e critica letteraria al femminile’ in Saperi e libertà. Maschile e femminile nei libri, nella scuola e nella vita ed. by Ethel Porzio Serravalle. Progetto POLITE ‒ Pari opportunità nei libri di testo (Milan: Associazione Italiana Editori, 2000, pp. 69-82)

Cutrufelli, Maria Rosa, Edvige Giunta, and Caterina Romeo [eds]: Origini. Le scrittrici italo americane (TutteStorie. Racconti letture trame di donne, 8, Milan: Il Saggiatore, 2001)

Cutrufelli, Maria Rosa et al.: Il Novecento delle italiane. Una storia ancora da raccontare (Rome: Editori Riuniti, 2001)

‘Nascere in un grembo di carta’ (Bollettino di italianistica, 2, 2006, pp. 241-247)

‘Il punto di partenza’ (Narrativa, 30, 2008, pp. 29-37)

‘La teoria della sporta’ (Letteraria, 2, 2009, pp. 63-65)

‘Narratrici e narratori: una lingua comune?’ in Che genere di lingua? Sessismo e potere discriminatorio delle parole ed. by Maria Serena Sapegno (Rome: Carocci, 2010, pp. 31-37)

[ed.] Nella città proibita (Milan: Tropea, 1997; repr. Milan: Net, 2003)

[ed.] Quella febbre sotto le parole (Rome-Guidonia: Jacobelli, 2016)

[ed.] Scrivere con l’inchiostro bianco (Rome-Guidonia: Jacobelli, 2018)

Radio Programmes

Lontano da casa (Radio-RAI-Fiction, 1997)

Translations into Foreign Languages


Women of Africa: Roots of Oppression [Translation of Donna perché piangi? Imperialismo e condizione femminile nell’Africa nera by Nicolas Romano] (London: Zed Press, 1983)

In the Forbidden City: An Anthology of Erotic Fiction by Women [Translation of Nella città proibita by Vincent Bertolini] (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000)

‘Northern Hills’ [Translation of ‘Le colline del Nord’ by Carol Lazzaro-Weis] in After the War: A Collection of Short Fiction by Postwar Italian Women ed. by Martha King (New York: Italica Press, 2004, pp. 81-90)

The Woman Outlaw [Translation of La briganta by Angela Jeannet] (New York: Legas, 2004)

Reasonable Doubt [Translation of Complice il dubbio by Giuliana Sanguinetti-Katz and Anne Urbancic] (Welland, Ontario: Editions Soleil, 2007)

Tina, Mafia Soldier. A Novel [Translation of Canto al deserto. Storia di Tina, soldato di mafia by Robin Pickering-Iazzi] (New York: Soho Crime, 2023)


Donne. Des Siciliennes [Translation of Disoccupata con onore. Lavoro e condizione della donna by Laura Revelli] (Paris: Editions des Femmes, 1976; repr. Paris: Editions des Femmes, 1977)

J’ai vécu pour un rêve: les derniers jours d’Olympe de Gouges [Translation of La donna che visse per un sogno by Caroline Roptin] (Paris: Autrement, 2008)


Der Nächste bitte! [Warum Männer zu Prostituierten gehen] [Translation of Il cliente: inchiesta sulla domanda di prostituzione by Dorette Deutsch] (Bergisch Gladbach: Bastei-Lübbe, 1983)

Die unwillkommene Komplizin [Translation of Complice il dubbio by Dorette Deutsch] (Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 1994)

Die verdächtige Komplizin [Translation of Complice il dubbio by Dorette Deutsch] (Berlin: Wagenbach, 2008)


He gynaika pou ezēse gia hena oneiro [Translation of La donna che visse per un sogno by Zaroménou Roúla] (Athens: Empeiria Ekdotike, 2007)


Brygantka [Translation of La briganta by Anna Gogolin] (Krakow: Studio Wydawnicze DodoEditor, 2010)


A invenção da mulher: mitos e técnicas de uma exploração [Translation of L’invenzione della donna. Miti e tecniche di uno sfruttamento by Luís Vilan] (Lisbon: A Regra do Jogo, 1980)


La ciudadana: Olympe de Gouges, la mujer que vivió por un sueño [Translation of La donna che visse per un sogno by María Antonia Menini Pagés] (Barcelona: Umbriel, 2007; repr. Barcelona: Urano, 2009)


Bir Bir düş için yaşayan kadın Olympe [Translation of La donna che visse per un sogno by Hande Loddo] (Istanbul: Everest, 2008)


Contarini, Silvia: ‘Riflessioni sulla narrativa femminile degli anni ’90’ (Narrativa, 10, 1996, pp. 139-163)

Di Giulio, Cinzia: ‘Travesties of Risorgimento in Maria Rosa Cutrufelli’s La briganta’ in Risorgimento in Modern Italian Culture ed. by Norma Bouchard (Madison, Teaneck: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2005, pp. 133-148)

Ellena, Liliana: ‘L’invisibile linea del colore nel femminismo italiano: viaggi, traduzioni, slittamenti’ (Genesis, 10.2, 2011, pp. 17-39)

Giunta, Edvige: ‘Maria Rosa Cutrufelli’ in Feminist Writers ed. by Pamela Kester-Shelton (Detroit: St. James Press, 1996, pp. 124-126)

—: ‘Sicilian Lives at the Crossroads: Reading Maria Rosa Cutrufelli’ (Academic Forum, 10, 2002, pp. 44-48)

Jeannet, Angela M.: ‘Maria Rosa Cutrufelli’ in Encyclopedia of Italian Literary Studies: A-J ed. by Gaetana Marrone, Paolo Puppa, and Luca Somigli (New York, London: Routledge, 2007, pp. 534-536)

—: ‘Between Document and Fiction: Maria Rosa Cutrufelli’s Voices’ (Italian Culture, 16, 1998, pp. 129-141)

—: ‘A Myth Reclaimed: Rome in Twentieth-Century Women’s Writings’ in Italian Women and the City: Essays ed. by Janet Levarie Smarr and Daria Valentini (Madison, Teaneck: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2003, pp. 98-125)

La Monaca, Donatella: ‘Introduzione alla lettura di Maria Rosa Cutrufelli’ (Lo specchio di carta, June 2005) available online at

—: ‘Maria Rosa Cutrufelli’ in Scrittrici siciliane del Novecento (Palermo: Flaccovio, 2010, pp. 97-114)

Lazzaro-Weis, Carol: ‘“Cherchez la femme”. The case of Feminism and the “Giallo” in Italy’ in Feminine Feminists: Cultural Practices in Italy ed. by Giovanna Miceli-Jeffries (Minneapolis, London: University of Minnesota Press, 1994, pp. 109-132)

—: ‘Stranger Than Life? Autobiography and Historical Fiction’ in Gendering Italian Fiction: Feminist Revisions of Italian History ed. by Maria Ornella Marotti and Gabriella Brooks (Madison, Teaneck: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1999, pp. 31-48)

—: ‘Women’s Histories, Women’s Stories: The Italian Case’ in Women’s Writing in Western Europe: Gender, Generation and Legacy ed. by Adalgisa Giorgio and Julia Waters (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007, pp. 312-330)

MacCarthy, Ita: ‘Mobility and Subjectivity in Maria Rosa Cutrufelli’s Il paese dei figli perduti’ in Cross-Cultural Travel: Papers from the Royal Irish Academy Symposium on Literature and Travel ed. by Jane Conroy (New York: Peter Lang, 2003, pp. 495-505)

Marotti, Maria Ornella: ‘Revising the Past: Feminist Historians/Historical Fictions’ in Gendering Italian Fiction: Feminist Revisions of Italian History ed. by Maria Ornella Marotti and Gabriella Brooks (Madison, Teaneck: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1999, pp. 49-70)

Marras, Margherita: ‘Entre texte et contexte: pour un parcours de la literature féminine des iles italiennes (Sardaigne et Sicile) des années 70 à nos jours’ (Italianistica Ultraiectina, 1, 2006, pp. 784-795) available online at

Parati, Graziella: ‘The Impossible Return: Women, Violence, and Exile’ (VIA: Voices in Italian Americana, 7, 1996, pp. 257-262)

Pickering-Iazzi, Robin: ‘Maria Rosa Cutrufelli’s Postmodern Geography of Impegno: Mafia Urban Desertification in Canto al deserto. Storia di Tina, soldato di mafia’ in The Mafia in Italian Lives and Literature: Life Sentences and Their Geographies ed. by Robin Pickering-Iazzi (Toronto, Buffalo, London: University of Toronto Press, 2015, pp. 105-147)

Rossi, Monica: ‘Rethinking History: Women’s Transgression in Maria Rosa Cutrufelli’s La briganta’ in Gendering Italian Fiction: Feminist Revisions of Italian History ed. by Maria Ornella Marotti and Gabriella Brooks (Madison, Teaneck: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1999, pp. 202-222)

Sanguinetti Katz, Giuliana: ‘Maria Rosa Cutrufelli e la storia’ (Italogramma, 6, 2013) available online at

Serkowska, Hanna: ‘Noi credevamo (e La briganta): la perdita della coscienza civile degli italiani o il delirio storico. Riscrittura del modello neviano’ in Dopo il romanzo storico. La storia nella letteratura italiana del ’900 (Pesaro: Metauro, 2012, pp. 75-111)

Talpade Mohanty, Chandra: ‘Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses’ (boundary 2, 12.3, ‘On Humanism and the University I: The Discourse of Humanism’, Spring-Autumn 1984, pp. 333-358)

Todesco, Serena: ‘Riscrivere la Storia con l’occhio di un bambino: soggettività e trauma ne I bambini della Ginestra in La réécriture de l’Histoire dans les romans de la postmodernité ed. by Stefano Magni (Aix-en-Provence: Presses Universitaires de Provence, 2015, pp. 333-341)

—: ‘Maria Rosa Cutrufelli’ (Enciclopedia delle donne, January 2016) available online at

—: ‘Maria Rosa Cutrufelli e le verità cercate dell’io femminile’ in Tracce a margine. Scritture a firma femminile nella narrativa storica siciliana contemporanea (Patti, Gioiosa Marea: Pungitopo, 2017, pp. 451-533)

—: ‘Oltre la cornice del volto perduto. Il fototesto affettivo di Maria Rosa Cutrufelli in Maria Giudice’ (Arabeschi, 19, 2022) available online at

Waters, Sandra A.: Narrating the Italian Historical Novel, PhD Dissertation (Rutgers University, New Brunswick, 2009). available online at

Interviews/in the Media

Bruno, Claudia: ‘Scrivere con l’inchiostro bianco. Intervista a Maria Rosa Cutrufelli’ (Ingenere, 1 October 2018). Available online at

Cambria, Adele: ‘Come salvare Tina, la “masculedda”’ (Il Giorno, 13 February 1995, p. 13)

Capecelatro, Giuliano: ‘Le donne del ’900? Emancipate e coraggiose’ (L’Unità, 26 April 2008, p. 26)

Cutrufelli, Maria Rosa and Serena Todesco: Campo a due. Dialogo con Maria Rosa Cutrufelli (Rome: Giulio Perrone Editore, 2021)

Spinelli, Manuela: ‘Intervista a Maria Rosa Cutrufelli’ in Donne e Sud. Percorsi nella letteratura italiana contemporanea ed. by Ramona Onnis and Manuela Spinelli (Florence: Franco Cesati Editore, 2018, pp. 137-139)