The daughter of the orientalist Fosco, she spent her childhood in Japan, where, between 1943 and 1946, she was interned with her family in a Japanese concentration camp in Nagoyo. She is the versatile author of narrative, poetry, drama and non-fiction, as well as a film and theatre director. As an acute and sensitive inquisitor regarding the status of women, she has often outlined in her works determined and complicated female characters, including them in a broader reflection on various social themes addressed in a historical perspective with a clear and realistic style. Among her most famous books Memoirs of a female thief (1972); Woman at War (1975); The Silent Duchess (Campiello Prize 1990); Voices (Flaiano International Award 1994); the volume of short stories Darkness: Fiction (Strega Prize 1999); Colomba (2004); Passi affrettati (2007), dedicated to the theme of violence against women, from which in the following year was adapted the play, which she wrote, directed and staged during of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women; Train to Budapest, (2008); La ragazza di via Maqueda (2009); La grande festa (2011). In 2012 she was awarded the Campiello Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award; in the same year she published the cartoon tale La notte dei giocattoli, illustrated by D. Bonomo, and the storybook L'amore rubato, while in 2013 the biography of St.Clare of Assisi, Chiara di Assisi-Elogio della Disobbedienza. Passionate about theatre, she has collaborated with various experimental groups and founded theatrical companies.