Dacia Maraini spent her early childhood in Japan, where her father was conducting ethnological research. Due to her parents' anti-Fascist views, the family was interned in a concentration camp for several years during World War II. After the war, they returned to Italy and lived in Bagheria, Sicily at the ancestral home of her mother. Dacia studied in Palermo, Florence and Rome, and began her writing career with articles in literary magazines. Her first novel was published in 1962. She has since become one of Italy's most distinguished writers and playwrights, and co-founder of a theater company. She is active in feminist causes and as a commentator on politics and society, writing columns for newspapers and weeklies.