Charis Books and More Logo

Life, Brazen and Garish: A Tale of Three Women (Other Voices of Italy) (Paperback)

Life, Brazen and Garish: A Tale of Three Women (Other Voices of Italy) By Dacia Maraini, Elvira G. Di Fabio (Translated by), Sara Teardo (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Dacia Maraini, Elvira G. Di Fabio (Translated by), Sara Teardo (Foreword by)
Usually Ships in 1-5 Days


Three generations of women live together under the same roof. Though they are united by blood, each of the Cascadei women has a very different personality and way of expressing herself. Teenage daughter Lori scribbles impulsively in her diary, so eager to speed off on her moped that she rarely bothers with punctuation. Mother Maria, a professional translator, writes detailed and observant letters yet doesn’t see what is happening right in front of her. And grandmother Gesuina, a former stage actress, speaks into an audio recorder, giving a provocative and brutally candid performance for an imagined audience that might never listen. 
Life, Brazen and Garish offers a fresh take on the epistolary novel, telling the story of a family through the fragmented and disparate perspectives of daughter, mother, and grandmother. Yet even as each woman endures her private struggles with love and betrayal, youth and maturity, knowledge and ignorance, reality and illusion, the Cascadeis forge a solidarity that transcends generations. In turns heartbreaking and laugh-out-loud funny, this novel is a triumph of narrative voice and literary style from one of Italy’s most renowned writers.

Questo libro è stato tradotto grazie a un contributo del Ministero degli Affari Esteri e della Cooperazione Internazionale italiano.
This book has been translated thanks to a contribution from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

About the Author

DACIA MARAINI is one of Italy’s most pre-eminent and beloved writers. In 1973 she founded the Teatro delle Maddalene, dedicated to works by women; she has written over thirty plays, as well as such novels as Voci (Voices) and the international bestseller La Lunga Vita di Marianna Ucrìa (The Silent Duchess).  
ELVIRA G DI FABIO holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University, where she directed the Italian program and taught literary translation. Among her many published works are translations of Dacia Maraini’s plays “The Gecko” and “Bakunin: The Lion and the Crocodile.”

Praise For…

"This novel by the acclaimed, bestselling author Dacia Maraini weaves together the competing perspectives and distinct voices of a daughter, mother, and grandmother who live together in contemporary Rome. Elvira Di Fabio’s translation captures the rhythm, style, and pace of each woman’s voice beautifully. A fast and entertaining read!"
— Tommasina Gabriele

"Brilliantly translated by Elvira Di Fabio, and eloquently introduced by Sara Teardo, Life, Brazen and Garish: A Tale of Three Women is a riveting medley of epistolary and diaristic women’s voices. Dacia Maraini’s polyphonic narrative mesmerizes and implicates us in its woman-centered family drama. The quotidian explodes—and we run for cover."
— Edvige Giunta

"Life, Brazen and Garish will mesmerize and completely absorb the English-speaking reader regardless of their familiarity with Dacia Maraini’s work. Maraini shapes this story of three women connected by intergenerational family ties (nonna, mother, and daughter) by exploring their distinct ways of expressing themselves. Elvira di Fabio’s skillful and insightful translation of Tre donne. Una storia d’amore e disamore is a vibrant example of the power of words to shape identities."
— Irene Zanini-Cordi

"Elvira Di Fabio’s elegant and accurate translation is an important contribution to the ever-growing corpus of Dacia Maraini’s works in English. Challenging conventional notions of life and love, in Life, Brazen, and Garish, Maraini follows a year in the life of an intergenerational trio of women from the same family through their written and recorded thoughts."
— Ombretta Frau

"In Life, Brazen, and Garish, a family composed only of women in Dacia Maraini's best style (as in her 1981 play, Mela) investigates the ever-present possibilities of love and the word, as well as the word of love flowing out of Charles Baudelaire’s verses. Gesuina, Maria, and Lori engage in a generational battle for the attention of a man, François. Reading this story narrated through the women's multiple perspectives with different tools is a wonderful journey into the world of emotions."
— Stefania Lucamante

Product Details
ISBN: 9781978839731
ISBN-10: 1978839731
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication Date: April 12th, 2024
Pages: 162
Language: English
Series: Other Voices of Italy