Morante, Elsa (ĕlˈsə môränˈtā) [key], c.1912–85, Italian novelist and poet; wife of Alberto Moravia. Her prose style, which is indebted to surrealism and magic realism, is characterized by the clear presentation of unreal events and always stresses the power of the imagination. The themes of solitude and loneliness are central to House of Liars (1948, tr. 1951), Arthur's Island (1957, tr. 1959), and the poems in Il mondo salvato dai ragazzini (1968). Morante's most important work, History: A Novel (1974, tr. 1977), which recounts Italy's wartime history through the eyes of a poor Roman family living in the ghetto, shows history to have violent and pitiless effects on the lives of common people. Morante also published the dark novel Aracoeli (1982), a collection of essays, a book of short stories, and a children's book.
See biography by L. Tuck (2008).