Oriana Fallaci

Journalist, writer


Italy, America, Vietnam

persona fisica

Born in Florence in 1929 and soon engaged in the Italian Resistance in the ranks of Giustizia e Libertà (made up by liberals and socialists), Oriana Fallaci had her first direct contacts with the American culture in 1955, during a trip as a correspondent for «L'Europeo». In the same period, she collected the materials for her first book, I sette peccati di Hollywood (Longanesi, 1958), untranslated in English. Then, after setting also her first novel in America, Penelope at war (Rizzoli, 1962), Fallaci documented the preparation of NASA astronauts for the imminent conquest of space in If the sun dies (Rizzoli, 1965). The move to New York (1965) marked at the same time the deepening of the relationship with the United States, and the turning point of her career: in addition to the many interviews collected posthumously in Viaggio in America (Rizzoli, 2014; untranslated), in the second half of the decade Fallaci produced the reportage from the Vietnam front Nothing, and so be it (Rizzoli, 1969). In the Seventies, she was often far from America, and returned to New York only in the Nineties. However, in 2006, seriously ill, Fallaci chose to die in her hometown.

While the first translation of an Oriana Fallaci's book appeared in 1964 (The useless sex, Horizon Press Publishers), the spread of her works in America was rather limited until the Seventies. The protagonist in the transmission of that production was certainly Pamela Swinglehurst, who in addition to The useless sex translated also If the sun dies (Atheneum, 1966) and The egotists, together with Mihály Csíkszentmihály and Fallaci herself. It was then Isabel Quingly (the translator, among the others, of Giorgio Bassani and Alba de Céspedes) who in 1972 brought Nothing, and so be it in America (Doubleday), which started a period of intense interest in Fallaci's works, lasted at least until the Nineties.

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De Stefano, Cristina. Oriana. Una donna. Milano: Rizzoli, 2013.

De Stefano, Cristina. "Oriana Fallaci." In Dizionario biografico degli italiani. Roma: Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana, 2014.

Fallaci, Oriana. Oriana Fallaci intervista sé stessa - L'Apocalisse. New York: Rizzoli international, 2004.

Fallaci, Oriana. Intervista con la storia. Immagini e parole di una vita. Milano: Rizzoli, 2007.

Fallaci, Oriana. Viaggio in America. Milano: Rizzoli, 2014.

Gatt-Rutter, John. Oriana Fallaci: The Rhetoric of Freedom. London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2010.

Healey, Robin. Italian Literature since 1900 in English Translation: An Annotated Bibliography, 1929-2016. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2019.

Author Gioele Cristofari