Massimo Bontempelli was born on May 12, 1878 and died in 1960. A protégé of Pirandello, Bontempelli was a prolific writer of poetry, plays, and prose fiction. In 1926 he was a cofounder with Curzio Malaparte of the literary review '900: Cahiers d'Italie en d'Europe, whose editorial committee included Max Jacob, André Malraux, Rainer Maria Rilke, and James Joyce. Although like most Italian writers and artists he had some association with the Fascist regime during the early 1920s and '30s, Bontempelli is the only person known to have refused an academic appointment vacated by a Jew in 1938. This led to subsequent internal exile and censorship, and eventually a death warrant by the Fascist government. Bontempelli now occupies a major place in 20th century Italian letters, and his works are translated in every major European language.
Estelle Gilson's translation from Italian of The Stories and Recollection of Umberto Saba won both the Italo Calvino and PEN Renato Poggioli awards, and the MLA's first Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione award in 1994 as the best literary translation of the previous two years. Her fiction, essays and articles appear in many publications. She lives in Riverdale, New York.