Italian town in the Langhe district in the foothills of the Apennines (in Piedmont, Torino province), in a winegrowing area known for its Nebbiolo, Barbera and Dolcetto varieties. A centre of partisan activity during the latter part of the second world war, and scene of a spectacular but futile occupation by the Italian resistance in 1944 chronicled in Beppe Fenoglio's I ventitre giorni dell città d'Alba (translated as 23 Days in the City of Alba for publication in May 2002).
The female protagonist of a series of six short novels (in a style heavily influenced by bandes dessinées
) written between 1979 and 1985 by François Delacorta
, and the title of the first of those books. A streetwise fourteen-year-old girl from a nondescript town in provincial France
who is spirited away to Paris
) for an enlightened education and to act as the muse for pianist, artist and con-man Serge Gorodish
; their further adventures with the French underworld are related in:
is the book on which the film by Jean-Jacques Beineix
was based; in the film Alba becomes Vietnamese (played by Thuy An Luu
) and a few years older, whereas in the books she is a (presumably caucasian) blonde; in any case Alba and Serge take something of a back seat (compared to the book) to Jules the courier and Cynthia Hawkins the opera singer.