Nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature 2012 Man Booker International Prize Finalist 2011.
Dacia Maraini spent her early childhood in Japan where her father – Fosco Maraini, the famous ethnologist was working on a research project. The family were confined to a concentration camp in Japan during the final years of the war, due to her parents’ anti-fascist views, When Dacia and her family left Japan they went to live in Sicily, at her mother’s (the painter Topazia Alliata) ancestral home. Dacia studied in Palermo, Florence and Rome, where she began her career writing articles in literary magazines.
Passi Affrettati (Hurried Steps). As well as being staged in Italy, the UK and Australia, it has been performed in France by the company Talon Rouge (Dir. Catherine Javaloyes) and in Spain by the company Crit (Dir. Dacia Maraini).
She co-founded the Teatro del Porcospino and the experimental feminist theatre; La Maddalena in Rome. In 1972, the American literary magazine Aphra published her play Manifesto which lead to its performance in New York at the Provincetown Playhouse, USA. Mary Stuart was directed by Nicolette Kay at the Battersea Arts Centre, London, (Time Out Critic’s Choice), it was also performed at La Mama Theatre in New York, the Publieke Theatre in Holland , the Teatro Espanol de Madrid in Spain (dir. Hemilio Hernandez), and the Teatro Candela Montevideo in Uruguay (dir. Marcelino Dufau) 1986, as well as in Australia, Belgium, Germany, and Austria.
I sogni di Clitennestra (Clytemnestra dreams) was performed by the City Troupe, New York in 1989 and then in a new translation (the Dreams of Clytemnestra) at the BAC, London, 1994 directed by Nicolette Kay. Other plays include Mela directed by Nicolette Kay at the BAC, London, Dialogo di una prostituta con il suo cliente (Dialogue between a Prostitute and her Client), performed in London Monstrous Regiment at the Half Moon Theatre, London 1980-81 (director: Ann Mitchell) and Stravaganza performed in Vienna at the Kunstlerhaus, directed by Johanna Thomek then in Australia, Brazil, and Germany. Fare teatro (1966-2000) Making Theatre (1966 – 2000), collected together nearly all her theatrical works.Dacia’s plays continue to be translated and performed, including a stage version of Marianna Ucrìa. Several films have been adapted from her books and she has written screenplays for directors Pier Paolo Pasolini, Marco Ferreri, Carlo Di Palma, and Margarethe Von Trotta.
Il treno dell’ultima notte was published in the UK in 2010 as Train to Budapest. It has received excellent reviews. The story, which is about twentieth-century totalitarianism focusses on a journey from Shoah to Budapest in 1956 at the time of the Hungarian revolution. Other novels include La vacanza (The Vacation), L’età del malessere (The age of discontent) International Formentor Prize, Memorie di una ladra (Memoirs of a Female Thief, Donna in guerra (Woman at War), Lettere a Marina (Letters to Marina) -winner of the the Premio Campiello, Il treno per Helsinki, (The Train), Isolina, La lunga vita di Marianna Ucria (The Silent Duchess); Viaggiando con passo di volpe, (Travelling in the Gait of a Fox), Bagheria, Cercando Emma, (Searching for Emma) Amata scrittura, (Beloved Writing), a volume of essays inspired by conversations with other writers, La nave per Kobe (The Boat for Kobe), La pecora Dolly (Dolly the Sheep), Colomba. Dacia Maraini’s short stories called Buio, won the most prestigious Italian literary prize: the Premio Strega, in 1999.
She continues to be active in feminist causes and as a commentator on politics and society, especially in columns for newspapers and weeklies. Her articles have appeared regularly in such publications as Corriere della Sera, La Stampa, L’Unità , Paese Sera. Of these, several earlier essays have been collected in La Bionda, la bruna, e l’asino (1987).