Since the early 1980s, the novel has been deemed by many Italian women writers to be the most apt vehicle for creating positive images of the future of women. The novel becomes the space for confession, while at the same time allowing greater expressive freedom. There is no longer one voice for the "feminine role" and, by creating heroines who are also intellectuals, these authors offer their readers models of alternative versions of self. This study is a partial inventory of the new women's narrative and aims to provide a broad literary framework through which both the general reader and the student can appreciate the characteristics and innovations of contemporary Italian women's fiction. The writers chosen for this study (Ginerva Bompiani, Edith Bruck, Paola Capriolo, Francesca Duranti, Rosetta Loy, Giuliana Morandini, Marta Morazzoni, Anna Maria Ortese, Sandra Petrignanni, Fabrizia Ramondino, Elisabetta Rasy and Francesca Sanvitale) have achieved both critical acclaim and public recognition and their texts show the richness of voices, topics and structures in Italian women's writing today.