Donatella Di Pietrantonio
A contemporary Italian writer you will surely love
- IN ENGLISH -
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In the last ten years, Donatella Di Pietrantonio has published four remarkable books that have received highly positive reviews and literary awards: Mia madre è un fiume (Elliot Edizioni 2011; Premio Letterario Tropea), Bella mia (Elliot Edizioni 2013, Einaudi 2018: Premio Brancati 2014), L’Arminuta (Einaudi 2017; Premio Campiello 2017; translated in English as A Girl Returned, Europa Edizioni 2019), and Borgo Sud (Einaudi 2020; finalist for Premio Strega, translated as A Sister’s Story, Europa Edizioni 2022). Di Pietrantonio’s prose is at the same time powerful and poetic. Difficult and always deeply felt family relationships are the focus of her stories: the often unspoken ties between mothers and daughters, the love and strife between sisters, the switching roles of those who are care givers and those who are cared for.
The cultural and geographical background of Di Pietrantonio’s stories is the Abruzzo, a much less well known region of Central Italy where ancient traditions, superstitions and beliefs still permeate the lives of the rural population. Di Pietrantonio’s storytelling can simultaneously display respect and longing as well as detachment and criticism for these deeply rooted ways of living.
In this Circolo letterario, we will examine the main themes emerging in Di Pietrantonio’s four works in preparation for a follow up meeting (click here to learn more) entirely devoted to the discussion of the most famous of her books, i.e., L’Arminuta from which a feature movie directed by Giuseppe Bonito has been released this fall in Italian movie theatres.
“Di Pietrantonio writes with deceptive simplicity. Every scene — every detail — is as meticulously rendered as a grain of sand. There is no sentimentality here, no excess at all, but delicacy of feeling, and depth.” Review by Natalia Holtzman, Star Tribune, August 2, 2019: 'A Girl Returned,' by Donatella Di Pietrantonio, translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein.
Pieranna Garavaso is native 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.
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