Sibilla Aleramo was the pen name of Rina Faccio, born in the Piedmont region of Italy. Her father managed a glass factory, where she was working at age 15 when she was raped by Ulderico Pierangeli, another employee. She was persuaded to marry him when she found she was pregnant with her son Walter. In 1899, she was offered the chance to direct a women's magazine in Milan, where she moved for a short time. In 1901, when her husband demanded her return, she left him and moved to Rome. There she began a liaison with Giovanni Cena, a journalist and writer, who encouraged her to publish her semiautobiographical debut novel, Una donna (A Woman, 1906) under her pseudonym. The book sent shock waves through the European literary establishment and is now considered a landmark in the history of Italian feminism. Its author became one of Italy's leading feminists. She went on to publish collections of poetry and other fictionalized memoirs. She also became a social activist and with physician Angelo Celli and his wife Anna Fraentzel Celli, became deeply involved in the campaign to eradicate malaria from the lands around Rome.