Acclaimed Italian Author Dacia Maraini visits UW-Madison

Dacia Maraini’s visit to UW-Madison for the public event “In Conversation with Dacia Maraini” on November 1st was a huge success. More than 130 people attended, and it was standing room only, showing the high level of interest and engagement in her work and experiences.

In conversation with Professor Grazia Menechella, Dacia Maraini discussed her traumatic experience in a prison camp in Japan from 1943 to 1945, which she shared in her recent memoir, Vita mia (2023). In addition to her memoir, Maraini also talked about her latest novel, In Praise of Disobedience: Clare of Assisi (translated by Jane Tylus, Rutgers, 2023), and her reportage, Sguardo al nuovo mondo (edited by Michelangelo La Luna, Marlin, 2023). The event was interactive, as she engaged with the audience by answering their questions, signing copies of her books, and meeting with undergraduate and graduate students.

During her time at the campus, Dacia Maraini also visited Professor Grazia Menechella’s First Year Interest Group (FIG) course, Literature in Translation 410: Food Cultures of Italy and Giampaolo Molisina’s Literature in Translation 410: Modern Italian Literature course, showing her commitment to fostering learning and cultural exchange.

The Dacia Maraini Week left a significant impact on all those who attended, highlighting the influence of literature and personal narratives in sparking meaningful conversations and building bridges between cultures.