Elsa Morante (1912-1985) was born and raised in Rome, where she lived throughout her life, aside from several months spent in hiding in the small town of Fondi during the Nazi occupation of Rome. She started writing at a young age, initially publishing short stories in children's journals. Her first novel, House of Liars, was published in 1948 and won the Viareggio Prize. She went on to become one of Italy's most lauded writers, winning further prizes and commercial success with her next two novels Arturo's Island and History. She died of a heart attack in Rome in 1985.