Interview with Claudia Rabellino Becce

by Erica Surace

Tell us about yourself

In general, I don't like to describe myself. Society categorizes us according to our work, our age, our social status, but we are something else, we are the dreams, the values, the passions, the experience, all things that are difficult to tell.

If I had to define myself in a synopsis, I would write, "lawyer, author, traveler, wife, mom, not necessarily in that order. I believe in gender equality." 


Where does the inspiration for your books come from and when did you decide to write them?

John Lennon sang "life is what you get when you're busy making other plans". My books in some ways have "happened" at times in my life when I was ready to write them but I had not planned to do so. 

"Cagliari al femminile" was written after participating with the role of moderator in the first presentation of the guide “Trieste al femminile”, written by my friend and author Florinda Klevisser. During the editing phase of my book, I met journalist Michaela K Bellisario, who became first a friend and then coauthor of "Happy at 50. What if it's a Golden Age?" 

My later projects are also linked to female encounters, for example, the one with Maria Laura Berlinguer. There's a lesson in all of this: the importance of networking among women, of supporting and inspiring each other. Female synergy is a superpower. Your project is an example of that.

 In your book "Happy at 50. What if it's a golden age? " you delve into what are the prejudices related to age, why was it important for you to talk about it?

The idea for Happy at 50 came from a conversation with Michaela Bellisario, on the problems of our age. We both thought (and think) that the prevailing narrative that society has of middle age (a horrible definition in itself), does not belong to us and does not represent us.  Ageism, i.e. discrimination based on the years we have, is a sad reality and mainly affects women at work and in private life. Talking about it, sharing experiences, proposing a different narrative is fundamental to accelerate the cultural change necessary to defeat prejudices and limiting stereotypes.

In both your books you give space to a feminine vision and, again in "Happy at 50. What if it was a golden age?" you present the testimonies of some women who tell their experiences. Why is it necessary for you to give them a voice?

As I said, sharing our experiences is fundamental: it helps us feel less alone in the face of a problem, inspires us, gives visibility to critical issues, and stimulates change. The interviews are the real value of the book, and gathering the testimonies of women who have taken on new challenges at a time in their lives that society considers a point of arrival and not a point of departure, has helped to "turn the table", to give a new vision.

Is there anything in particular that struck you or that you learned in the process of writing your books?

Writing is always therapy, a journey first and foremost within yourself. I learned to listen to myself and to listen, to embrace new visions. I learned that words matter and language can change the world. I learned that stories, like people, are nuanced, they can be good or bad, depending on how you tell them.