About us

Leggendaria. Books Readings and Languages became a journal in its own right in January 1997, having existed as a supplement to the monthly Noidonne since 1986. It is now distributed in bookshops and by subscription. Anna Maria Crispino founded the journal and edits it, with a small group of women in-house, and a wider group of qualified contributors outside, including some men. In 2001, Leggendaria received the sixth Elio Vittorini Prize, in the section for cultural reviews.

The review is a tool for critical thinking, and presents the critical outlook of women on a range of contemporary issues. It adopts a multi-disciplinary and inter-cultural approach with a target of both men and women, and hopes to encourage inter-generational exchange. There is a special section dedicated to young readers called ‘Under 15’.

Each issue opens with a Topic (“Tema”) that presents the work of various contributors that interact with each other thematically. Our aim is to help our readers join the dots of their cognitive maps, providing them with material to sharpen their thinking and clarify their understanding of the constantly shifting political, cultural and social context, as well as pose new questions. We also provide a comprehensive picture of the latest cultural scene (cinema, new media, theatre, television, seminars, conferences).

In “Primo Piano” (the Foreground), we analyze the work of individual writers in greater depth, or dig deeper into some of the themes. In “Letture” (Readings) we offer reviews of recently published books, while “Ultimi Arrivi” (Latest arrivals) bookmark forthcoming, reprinted or just-published editions. In the rubric “A/ Margine” (At the Margins), we talk about recent events or initiatives worth putting in your diaries (conferences, seminars, exhibitions, film festivals, theatrical performances etc). “Politica” (Politics) comments on the hottest political questions and ways of decision making. “News” signals appointments.

The bilingual monographic issues are particularly important for us, usually because they are the result of a wide network of contacts and national and international initiatives. In 2000 an issue published in English and Italian covered the topic of “Women’s Studies”; “Africa” came out in Italian and English in 2006, as did a special bilingual edition on “Ibsen in Italy”. We produced a Spanish-Italian edition on “Peru”.
Finally, we dedicate resources and a great deal of time to the graphics of the issue; laying out the page and choosing illustrations is very important for us. We are convinced that in an age of virtual reviews, a taste for paper editions to hold in your hand, touch, smell and appreciate – where words and pictures become material products – the challenge is still open.