Laura Lepetit

Laura Lepetit was born in Rome. An intellectual and editor, she came to Milan at the age of 12, when her family moved there following her engineer father. After having attended the Liceo delle Suore Marcelline, she graduated in modern literature from the Università Cattolica di Milano. In the 1970s she founded, along with some friends, the historic bookshop Libreria Milano Libri, later renamed Nuova Milano Libri. At a time filled with cultural changes and revolutions, her support of feminism led her to the group Rivolta Femminile, founded by Carla Lonzi, and later became part of the Libreria delle donne di Milano and the Circolo Culturale delle Donne Cicip & Ciciap. In 1975, she founded the legendary publishing house La Tartaruga, which she led until 1997 was strictly limited to women writers. Under her direction La Tartaruga published hundreds of books, bringing titles from the greatest female writers of the 20th century to Italy, from Virginia Woolf, Gertrude Stein and Barbara Pym to Doris Lessing and Alice Munro. «When in front of books – she said in "Autobiografia di una femminista distratta" (2016) – I feel like a truffle dog. I search them out with my nose, I can smell them, pick up the signals that they send and says the ground with my nose among the bushes.»

(photo: © Leonardo Cendamo)

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