Alberto Moravia, born Alberto Pincherle, was an Italian novelist and journalist. His novels explored matters of modern sexuality, social alienation, and existentialism.
He is best known for his debut novel Gli indifferenti, and for the anti-fascist novel Il Conformista, the basis for the film The Conformist by Bernardo Bertolucci. Other novels of his translated to the cinema are Il Disprezzo filmed by Jean-Luc Godard as Le Mépris; La Noia, filmed with that title by Damiano Damiani in 1963 and released in the US as The Empty Canvas in 1964; and La Ciociara filmed by Vittorio de Sica as Two Women. Cedric Kahn's L'Ennui is another version of La Noia. He was an atheist.
He once remarked that the most important facts of his life had been his illness, a tubercular infection of the bones that confined him to a bed for five years, and Fascism, because they both caused him to suffer and do things he otherwise would not have done. "It is what we are forced to do that forms our character, not what we do of our own free will." His writing was marked by its factual, cold, precise style, often depicting the malaise of the bourgeoisie, and was rooted in the tradition of nineteenth-century narrative, underpinned by high social and cultural awareness. In his world, where inherited social, religious and moral beliefs are no longer acceptable, he considered sex and money the only basic criteria for judging social and human reality.