1870 - 1945


Ada Negri was born in Lodi in 1870. Coming from a very poor family (her father was a labourer and her mother a weaver), she can be considered the first Italian woman writer belonging to the working class. Her poor and lonely childhood was described in her biographical novel "Stella mattutina"(1912). Thanks to her mother's effords Ada could study and became an elementary teacher. Therefore, in 1888, she started to work in an elementary school in Pavia. In this period she published her first collection of poetries entitled "Fatalità"(1892). Thanks to this successful book, she became famous and she could start to teach in italian secondary schools. In 1896 she married an industrialist whith whom she had her only daughter, Bianca. Some years later they got divorced and she had a relationship with another man; Ada wrote about this experience in her book of poetries "Il libro di Mara" (1919),which was considered written with too confidence.

By the catholic and conservative Italian society of her time. Her second collection of poetries "Tempeste"(1895) dealt with revolutionary social issues.

Then she started to use an introspective way of writing, describing the secret movements of the soul in works like " Maternità"(1904), " Dal profondo"(1910) and "Esilio" (1914). She wrote other important collections of poetries such as "I canti dell'isola"(1924), "Vespertina" (1930),"Dono"(1936). During her life, Ada Negri collaborated with some famous newspapers and in 1940 she became a member of Italian Academy. She died in Milan in 1945.

Liliana Occari
(traslation Chiara Sposetti)