From the beloved author of Forbidden Notebook and Her Side of the Story comes a coming-of-age novel so subversive, it was banned by the Fascist regime when it was first published in 1938.
There’s No Turning Back was Alba de Céspedes’s debut novel, first published to great acclaim and commercial success in 1938. The narrative centers on eight women in their early twenties who attend the same college in Rome. Some are there to study, others to escape a scandal or keep a secret. Over the course of two years, from 1934 to 1936, Vinca, Valentina, Augusta, Silvia, Xenia, Anna, Milly, and Emanuela—who stem from radically different backgrounds—enter adulthood, experiencing the challenges of love, work, and emancipation. Ultimately, each young woman takes a completely different direction based on her own expectations, ambitions, and choices.
Much like Virginia Woolf’s The Waves, each character is given a distinct voice, with the narrative shifting seamlessly from one point of view to the next. Considered experimental and revolutionary at the time, this novel entered the canon as the first to break with the traditional image of womanhood expected in literature and society—so much so that the Fascist regime banned the novel in Italy.
As the novel that established Alba de Céspedes as a subversive new voice and in a modern translation by Elena Ferrante translator Ann Goldstein, this novel is bound to build on the success of Forbidden Notebook and Her Side of the Story.