In Conversation with Dacia Maraini

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Auditorium 121 Pyle Center - 702 Langdon St, Madison, WI 53706 - Reception to Follow
@ 4:00 pm CDT - 5:00 pm CDT

Internationally Acclaimed Italian Writer Dacia Maraini at UW-Madison

Dacia Maraini, in conversation with Prof. Grazia Menechella (Department of French and Italian), will explain how she decided to recount her experience as a child in a World War II concentration camp in Japan in her newly published memoir Vita Mia: Japan 1943 (2023), and share (hi)stories of those two years lived facing torture, illness, hunger, and fear. Maraini will also reflect on her political activism with Italian and global feminism, her literary production (including her novel In Praise of Disobedience: Clare of Assisi translated in 2023 by Jane Tylus) and travel reportage from the US and the Americas (Sguardo al nuovo mondo, 2023).

Dacia Maraini is an award-winning writer, poet, playwright, screenwriter, filmmaker, journalist, and activist. She spent her early childhood in Japan where, in 1943, because of her parents’ anti-fascist views and refusal to sign papers declaring allegiance to Mussolini’s Fascist Republic of Salò, she, at age seven, with her family, was confined to a Japanese prison camp in Nagoyo. After Japan, she and her family returned to Sicily, and later she moved to Rome. As a writer and political activist, she has given voice to women silenced across time and space, and fought against abuse and violence against children and women. She is the author of over twenty novels, many short stories, several plays, collections of poetry, essays, and reportage. Maraini’s books have been translated into twenty-two languages, and many of her novels have been translated into English.  Some of her bestsellers — Storia di Piera, L’età del malessere, La lunga vita di Marianna Ucrìa, Voci, and Memorie di una ladra — have been adapted into films. She has written screenplays for directors, including Marco Ferreri, Margarethe Von Trotta, and Pier Paolo Pasolini. She was the co-founder of the feminist theatre La Maddalena in Rome, and her plays are staged in Italy and around the world. She has won numerous awards, including the very prestigious Campiello and Strega Awards. Dacia Maraini was a finalist for the Man Booker International Prize and was a nominee for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Co-sponsored by the Department of French and Italian and the Center for European Studies with generous support from the Anonymous Fund.

For more information, contact Prof. Grazia Menechella