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The daughter of well-known ethnologist Fosco Maraini, Dacia Maraini spent her early childhood in Japan while her father conducted his research. Because of her parents’ anti-fascist views, the family was confined in a concentration camp during the final years of the war. After their return from Japan, she and her family lived in Sicily, for the first few years in Bagheria at the ancestral home of her mother, painter Topazia Alliata. Maraini studied in Palermo, Florence, and Rome, beginning her writing career with articles in literary magazines. Her first novel, La vacanza [The Vacation], was published in 1962, and the second, L'età del malessere [The age of discontent], won the International Formentor Prize in 1963 and has been translated into twelve languages. She has subsequently published many more novels, several investigative studies, and collections of poetry and essays. She has won major literary prizes for her work, notably the Premio Campiello for La lunga vita di Marianna Ucria and the Premio Strega in 1999. She cofounded the Teatro del Porcospino in the 1960s and established the feminist experimental theater La Maddalena in Rome in 1973. She is also a playwright. Several films have been made from her books, and she herself has written screenplays for such directors as Pier Paolo Pasolini, Marco Ferreri, Carlo Di Palma, and Margarethe Von Trotta. She continues to be active in feminist causes and as a commentator on politics and society, and her articles have appeared regularly in such publications as Corriere della Sera, La Stampa, L'Unità, and Paese Sera. Her recent works include La bambina e il signatore [The Little Girl and the Dreamer], L'amore rubato [Stolen Love], and Chiara di Assisi. Elogio della disobbedienza [Clare of Assisi: In Praise of Disobedience].