Marking International Women’s Day III: Bad Girls do some Cool Stuff


How’s this for someone who doesn’t blog for two months? Nothing for ages then three in twenty-four hours! I always was good at rising to occasions, last-minute cramming, skidding into deadlines with mere seconds to go. And obviously a bit less good at sustaining the momentum. Ho hum.. the world’s beautiful because it’s vario, right?   And different is good, they always say.

So, I’m packing all my favourite girl-empowering books into my 24-hour mark of respect for International Women’s Day. Next one up is another stunner from Sinnos.


cattive ragazze

Winner of the 2014 Italian ANDERSEN prize for the Best Children’s Graphic Novel, Cattive Ragazze (Bad Girls) presents 15 outstanding biographies of 15 equally outstanding writers, voyagers, scientists, activists, philosophers, singers, painters and cyclists. All brave, independent women who refused to bend to society’s idea and expectations of them. All women, some more famous than others, who made their mark on history through the years.
Hedy Lamarr was a very rich, very pretty movie star and also an inventor who won the BULBIE, known as the “Oscar” of inventing. Nellie Bly was the first women journalist to go under cover. Antonia Masanello was the only women to fight in Garibaldi’s Mille.  These three “bad girls” keep very good company in this quirky but cool graphic novel: Olympe De Gouges – Elvira Coda Notari – Nawal El Saadawi –  Marie Curie – Aleksandra Kollontaj – Alfonsina Morini Strada – Angela Davis – Claude Cahun – Domitila Barrios De Chungara – Franca Viola – Miriam Makeba – Onorina Brambilla.

I particularly liked Alfonsina Morini Strada. There wasn’t much money (or food) in their household so she definitely never had many toys to play with. One day her dad brought an old bicycle back from the market. It was love at first sight for Alfonsina and she started cycling everywhere, taking part in competitions and even winning a gold medal presented by Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. Her parents try to marry her off to stop all the cycling nonsense, but little do they know, husband actually wants to help make her dream of cycling in the Giro D’Italia come true. Which it does of course. Because she was a bad girl. And bad girls often do some really cool stuff.

From the introduction by Cecilia D’Elia:

These are stories of freedom. I don’t expect any of these women ever thought of themselves as special. But they were all very determined. And by living their lives the way they wanted to, they brought new opportunities and smashed age-old barriers.”



About MagicaTransla

Denise Muir is a creative commercial and literary translator who delights in writing, telling and translating stories. She is also Magicamente Translations, a professional linguist who looks beyond the words of a text to find the magic. By then recreating that magic in English, she strives to set sparks alight on the page and to touch people by what she (or rather, her clients) have to say. She is also an advocate of Italy’s indy publishing sector and promoter of strong female voices tackling big issues, as well as working in schools to champion diversity in children’s literature.

5 responses »

  1. Pingback: Marking International Women’s Day III: Bad Girls do some Cool Stuff – ReBirth: The Pursuit of Porsha

  2. Hey Denise, First Blog didn’t poach you post; she merely re-blogged it. Her post has your site listed as the source of the material but that way your words reach her followers base; of which I am one. So because of the re-blog someone who admired you work gave me a nudge and now I’m following you. I never would have found you blog otherwise. I think you owe her an apology and you should do some research on what a re-blog is. It is the sincerest form of Word Press Flattery. ~~dru~~

      • Well I was fairly preachy and assumed too much myself. You know assume makes an ass out u and me; sorry. AND, I too did the same when someone reblogged me for the first time but I did a little research before I posted. Don’t get me wrong, I wrote the comment but then rethought the bad vibes and looked around first. Word Press keeps changing things around and I’m too old to accept change graciously… hee hee hee…

        Insomnia is a female dog and makes me one too.

        I’ve had a good time reviewing a couple of your posts so far and will play catch up as time allows. Glad to have found your site. ~~dru~~

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