Ignazio Silone was the pen name of Secondino Tranquilli, who was born in the Abruzzo region of Italy and lost many family members, including his mother, in the 1915 Avezzano earthquake. Silone was a founding member of the Italian Communist Party in 1921, and became one of its clandestine leaders during Mussolini's Fascist regime. Silone was expelled from the party due to his opposition to Stalinism. He went to Switzerland for his health and began to write. His novels Fontamara, Bread and Wine and The Seed Beneath the Snow form the Abruzzo Trilogy. He returned to Italy in 1944 and edited a journal, Tempo Presente.