Dacia Maraini

Dacia Maraini

Italian writer, poet, novelist, children’s book author, and dramatist. She was born in Fiesole, near Florence. She is the daughter of the painter Topazia Alliata di Salaparuta and Fosco Maraini, ethnologist and writer, known for his books about Tibet and Japan. After a childhood spent in Japan and the experience of time spent in a concentration camp there, about which she writes in her collection Mangiami pure (Devour Me Too, 1978) and the novel La nave per Kobe (The Boat to Kobe, 2001), she returned to Rome, where she began her life as a writer. Her husband was the Milanese painter Lucio Pozzi, and after her divorce from the artist, her lifelong partner became Alberto Moravia – known as one of the most important Italian writers of the twentieth century. Maraini’s owes her popularity to her numerous novels, of which many raise social questions, speak of the lives of women, and concern the problems of childhood. She has worked and continues to work in theatre, which she sees as the most appropriate place for engaging the public in social and political issues. From 1967 to the present she has written over 30 plays for the stage. To Polish readers she is known mainly as the author of La lunga vita di Marianna Ucria (The Second Life of Marianna Ucria, 1990, published in Poland in 1996), for which she received the Premio Campiello award (1993). The book tells the story of the author’s great-grandmother, a lovely deaf and mute woman, whose strange life is symbolic of the fates of the Italian woman. On 3 November she took part in the Second Joseph Conrad International Literature Festival, in an evening dedicated to the problems of the lives of women in Polish society. The Italian Institute in Krakow was a co-organiser of the meeting.