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Thursday, March 13, 2008

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Antonia Arslan will be in Chicago to discuss her first novel, La masseria delle allodole (Rizzoli 2004).  The book was inspired by the author’s own family and their experience of the Armenian genocide.

The book came out in English translation from Random House/Knopf in 2006 under the title Skylark Farm. The story it tells sheds light on historical events unknown to many: the slaughter of Armenians by the government of the Young Turks during the First World War.

Aslan’s elegant prose paints a portrait of the refined Armenian community of the day. She focuses on a series of strong female characters who cling to their humanity in the face of barbaric treatment. The skylark farm of the title refers to the house in the Anatolian hill country where the men in the family were slaughtered in May 1915 at the beginning of the genocide. This marks the beginning of the women’s ordeal—an odyssey that will take them as far as Syria through forced marches and prison camps.

Antonia Arslan was professor of Italian literature at the University of Padova. She is the author of several important articles on Dino Buzzati and the nineteenth-century popular novel (Dame, droga e galline; 1977). She has also published on women’s writing at the turn of the nineteenth century (Dame, galline e regine; 1998) and has edited reprints of many of their novels, as well as an anthology of short stories with Gabriella Romani (Writing to Delight) that came out last year from University of Toronto Press. She also collaborated on the translation of the collections Il canto del pane and Mari di grano by noted Armenian poet Daniel Varujan reaffirming her Armenian identity in the process, a journey of self-discovery of which Skylark Farm is the culmination. She has also translated Claude Mutafian’s Metz Yeghèn. Il genocidio degli armeni and Hushèr la memoria. Voci italiane di sopravvissuti armeni.

In conjunction with the author’s presentation, the Institute will also be showing the Taviani brother’s film loosely based on Skylark Farm.



Date: Thursday, March 13, 2008

Hours: 6 PM

Site: Italian Cultural Institute, Chicago

Organized by: Italian Cultural Institute

In collaboration with: In collaborazione con (seconda lingua)

Tipologia di invito (seconda lingua)


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