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NEW! IL CIRCOLO LETTERARIO. Italian Books And Authors Presented in English

  • 08 Oct 2020
  • 6:00 PM
  • 02 Dec 2020
  • 7:00 PM
  • Online Event





Broaden your knowledge of Italy's life and culture, past and present, with Il Circolo Letterario. Open to everyone, this monthly online event gives you the opportunity to explore Italy through its many writers and books. Presentations will be in English with short readings in Italian. It is not required to read the books to attend. 

Our first three appointments, curated and presented by Pieranna Garavaso, Professor Emerita of Philosophy, University of Minnesota, will focus on women's challenges in Italy during the 20th century through the writings of Sibilla Aleramo, Natalia Ginzburg and Dacia Maraini. 


Sibilla Aleramo (1876-1960), is often claimed to be the first Italian feminist. She is well known for her prolific writings in both prose and poetry, her intellectual and political activism, and her reputedly ‘scandalous’ life style. Her first and successful novel Una donna (A Woman) has been translated in English for the third time in 2020 and has had numerous reprints in Italian. Our first conversation will focus mostly on this novel. Learn more and register

Natalia Ginzburg (1916-1991) was a Jewish woman writer whose personal life was deeply affected by World War II and the persecution of Jews in Italy.  Her writing style is significantly different from Aleramo’s in its terseness and concreteness.  She wrote novels, plays, and political and critical literary essays. Unlike Aleramo, Ginzburg’s approach is not explicitly feminist, but her attention to family life and relations provides insightful reflections on the conditions of women in Italy during the fascist era.  We will focus on her most famous novel Lessico Famigliare (Family Lexicon) and Le piccole virtù (The Small Virtues), a collection of nine short essays. Learn more and register

Dacia Maraini (1936-) is a writer of novels and plays.  As a child, she lived in Japan and during World War II her family was interned in a concentration camp because her parents did not pledge adherence to the Republic of Salò where Mussolini and his supporters retreated after the fall of the fascist regime.  Her writings address the conditions of women and she has been politically active until quite recently.  We will focus on Bagheria (Bagheria), a novel about Maraini’s childhood in Sicily and her memories of her father and La lunga vita di Marianna Ucrìa (The Long Life of Marianna Ucrìa), a historical novel also placed in Sicily about the life of a deaf and mute girl in the 18th century. Maraini's writings will provide a more contemporary approach to issues regarding women living in Italy. Learn more and register



Online Events - Registration required
Free or with suggested donation to support our programming
Click on the links below to register

Sibilla Aleramo // October 8, 2020 // 6:00-7:00 PM
Natalia Ginzburg // November 12, 2020 // 6:00-7:00 PM
Dacia Maraini // December 2, 2020 // 6:00-7:00 PM



Pieranna Garavaso
 is n
ative Italian and came to the US to earn a PhD in Philosophy (at the U of Nebraska Lincoln). She taught Philosophy at the University of Minnesota Morris for 34 years. She was awarded the UMN Morris Alumni Association Teaching Award (2003), the Horace T. Morse Alumni Association Undergraduate Teaching Award (2004) and the UMN Morris Faculty Research Award (2017). Her areas of research include History of Analytic Philosophy, Philosophy of Mathematics, and Feminist Philosophies.  She has published articles in Italian and English and authored, co-authored or edited several books; the last collection she has edited is the Bloomsbury Companion to Analytic Feminism (2018).  As Emerita/retired she plans to devote more time to reading and discussing Italian literature.







The Italian Cultural Center of Minneapolis/St. Paul is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization
 528 Hennepin Ave | Minneapolis, MN 55403 | (612) 295-4111 

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