Dacia Maraini Portrait
© Hartwig Klappert

Guest 2008, 2013.


Tage im August


München, 2001

[Ü: Herbert Schlüter]

Der Zug in die jüngste Nacht


München, 2010

[Ü: Eva-Maria Wagner]

La seduzione dell’altrove


Mailand, 2010

La grande festa


Mailand, 2011

L’amore rubato


Mailand, 2012


Dacia Maraini [ Italy ]

Dacia Maraini was born in 1936 in the Tuscan town of Fiesole, near Florence. In 1938 she moved with her parents to Japan where her father, ethnologist Fosco Maraini, studied. The family was interned in successive camps due to their liberal convictions. In 1946 they returned to Italy, where Maraini grew up in the Sicilian town of Bagheria and, following her parents’ divorce, with her mother in Palermo. Maraini had already begun writing at this early stage. At 18 she moved to Rome to live with her father, where she published her first short stories and in 1957 co-founded the journal »Tempo di letteratura«.

Her debut novel »La vacanza« (Engl. »The Holiday«, 1962) became an immediate bestseller, translated into more than a dozen languages. The empathy of Maraini’s prose is key; she describes the youthful longing of her adolescent protagonist Anna, who loses her childish innocence during a summer holiday offering both ennui and escapades, and becomes aware for the first time of an existential void to which the ambiguous title alludes. Moreover the author, just 17 at the time she produced the first draft of this novel, confronts such volatile subjects as female sexuality as well as society in Mussolini’s fascist Italy. In the early 1960s she came into contact with Alberto Moravia, author of such books as »The Conformist« and »Contempt«. During their long partnership they undertook extensive travels, often joined by others in their intellectual circle, such as Pier Paolo Pasolini. In the 1970s, Maraini became active in the political sphere, committed to equal opportunity and women’s rights – concerns which are also visible throughout her literary work. To date Maraini has published 18 novels as well as volumes of short stories, poetry and essays. She has also created dramas and screenplays, including Pasolini’s »A Thousand and One Nights« (1974). Female figures, both historical and contemporary, are often at the heart of her prose, frequently standing up to violence and bourgeois conformity. In »Il treno dell’ultima note« (Engl. »Train to Budapest«, 2008) Maraini confronts the processing of the Shoah during the Cold War and tells of a journalist’s research through shifting timeframes and perspectives.

Since 2006 Maraini has served as editor of the literary journal »Nuovi Argomenti« founded by Carocci, Moravia and Pasolini in the Fifties. In 2006 she received the honorary doctorate from the American University of Middlebury in Vermont, and two years later another honorary doctorate from the university of L’Aquila and another one from the university of Foggia and the last one from the university of Le Marche. She was nominated for the Man Booker Prize in 2011 and the following year she received the Italian most prestigious prize, the Premio Campiello to the carrier, in Venice. She works and lives in Rome.