Celebrated Italian Author to Speak March 3

Italian author Dacia Maraini. Photo by G. M. Ireneo Alessi

Dacia Maraini, one of the most prominent authors in Italy, speaks about her new book when she delivers the annual Valentine Giamatti lecture Monday, March 3. The presentation, titled “Chiara of Assisi: In Praise of Disobedience” and given in English, starts at 6 pm in the Art Building’s Gamble Auditorium.

Maraini’s latest work concerns Chiara of Assisi (also known as St. Clare), who defied her family and society’s expectations to become one of Francis of Assisi’s first followers. Her book, Chiara di Assisi: Elogio della disobbedienza, shines a spotlight on this strong-willed, intelligent woman long hidden in the shadow of the famous St. Francis.

Maraini is a prolific writer, having produced 20 novels and as many plays, plus short stories, poetry, screenplays, and narrative journalism. London’s Guardian newspaper called her “a novelist of grand ambition and intense feeling and, always, an enthralling storyteller.”

Her novels, which include Woman at War and The Silent Duchess, often reflect Maraini’s views as a feminist and political activist. The UK’s Independent newspaper called her work “fiction at its best.”

The event, which is free and open to the public, is organized by the MHC Italian program.