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Ierimonti Gallery is pleased to present "Sagona - The Comedy of Women", a project that intertwines literature and art and draws inspiration from the most influential masterpiece of Italian literature- Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy-

A hundred women are described in their damnation, path of purification and bliss, amounting to a metaphor for the journey of a single woman and her redemption, through a process of loss and rediscovery of self.

Marina Sagona's imaginary portraits capture the idiosyncrasies and the archetypical power of Hell, Purgatory and Paradise's female residents.  

In turn, authors Judith Thurman, Jhumpa Lahiri, Alice Sebold, Claire Messud and Anna Funder respond to Sagona's visualizations of Dante's text by creating their own narrative portraits of the women.

Be it Francesca, Manto, the Naked Whore or Beatrice, these female figures bring about a diverse range of responses on the writers' part, from self-identification to lost memories retrieved to social denouncement.

As Colum McCann states in his introduction to the project: “the best art – writing, cinema, painting, dance – creates and suggests and inspires further art. Nothing ever finishes.”

At the show's opening on Friday, March 4th, author Antonio Monda will briefly introduce the artist and the writers who contributed to this project.

Marina Sagona is an artist.

She was born in Rome and has been living in New York since 1995.

Colum McCann is the author of six novels and three collections of stories.

He has been the recipient of many international honors including the National Book Award and he is the co-founder of the non-profit global story exchange organization Narrative 4.

Judith Thurman is the author of "Isak Dinesen: The Life of a Storyteller", which won the National Book Award, and  "Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette" a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

She's also a staff writer at the The New Yorker.

Jhumpa Lahiri's debut short story collection " Interpreter of Maladies", won the Pulitzer Prize in 2000 and her first novel "The Namesake", was adapted into the film of the same name.

She is a member of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

Alice Sebold is an American writer, author of three books: " Lucky", " The Almost Moon" and "The Lovely Bones" which remained first on the Times Bestseller list for five months and was adapted into a film by the same name in 2009.

Claire Messud is the author of four novels and a book of novellas.

Her book "The Emperor's Children" was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize and was selected as one of the ten best books of 2006 by The New York Times.

Anna Funder’s Stasiland won the Samuel Johnson Prize. Her novel All That I Am won the Miles Franklin among many other prizes and was on the bestseller list for a year and a half. Both books have been international bestsellers and All That I Am is now being adapted for film.

Antonio Monda is an Italian author, professor at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, artistic director of the Rome Film Festival and co-founder and director of the global literary festival Le Conversazioni.