Italian novelist. His first successful novel was Gli indifferenti/The Time of Indifference (1929), but its criticism of Mussolini's regime led to the government censoring his work until after World War II. Later books include Agostino (1944), La romana/Woman of Rome (1947), Racconti Romani/Roman Tales (1954), La ciociara/Two Women (1957), La noia/The Empty Canvas (1961; a study of an artist's obsession with his model), L'attenzione/The Lie (1965), and La vita interiore/Time of Desecration (1978).
Moravia was an unrelenting realist in his unflattering representation of human nature, which he portrayed as being ruled by the twin desires for money and sex. He was particularly successful when describing the ideological vacuum and corruption of the upper and middle classes, in a style which is as elegant and clear as it is detached from the subject matter.
The son of an architect, he was born in Rome. He suffered from tuberculosis and did not go to school after the age of eight. He wrote the first draft of Gli indifferenti before he was 20; it was published at his father's expense.