This text argues that Oriana Fallaci is an awkward presence on Italian bookshelves, in world journalism, and among feminists. An outspoken champion of freedom and justice at every level and in every sphere, she was a war correspondent in Vietnam, has provacatively interviewed world personalities from Henry Kissinger (who felt that the interview he gave her was the biggest mistake he had ever made) to the Ayatollah Khomeini and Alfred Hitchcock. She has written several novels uncomfortably close to raw reality which have been bestsellers in Italy and widely translated. Fallaci, a fully emancipated and successful woman in the man's world of international political and battlefront journalism, has antagonized many feminists by her outright individualism, her championship of motherhood, and her idolization of heroic manhood. In journalism, her critics havve felt that she has outraged the conventions of interviewing and reporting. As a novelist, she shatters the invisible diaphragm of literariness, and is accused of betraying, or simply failinf literature. This study examines the implications of the storms and silences that Fallaci keeps rousing.
It explores her relationship with the feminist movement, as well as the implications of her work for the debate on the relationship between "high" and "low" literary culture.