The Book That Changed My Life

Roberta (2)

Dr. Di Carmine was born and raised in Pescara, Italy where she received her Bachelor’s degree. After moving to the United States, she received her Master’s degree from West Virginia University and her Ph.D at the University of Oregon. She currently directs the Interdisciplinary Film Minor. Aside from teaching, Dr. Di Carmine loves traveling, architecture, contemporary art, photography, and dogs. So come along with Dr. Di Carmine as she discuses “The Book That Changed My Life.”

What is the book that changed my life?

I grew up in Italy so the book that changed my life is an Italian novel entitled Una donna (A Woman). It was written in 1906 by Sibilla Aleramo. I remember reading it in high school. It had a strong impact on me, mostly because this was the first book I actually read that was written by a woman.

How would you describe it to someone who hasn’t read it?

The book, which is a fictionalized memoir, depicts the struggling life of a woman from childhood to adulthood while, at the same time, describing the striking cultural and social differences between the industrialized North and the rural South of Italy.

Where/How did you first encounter this book?

I don’t recall who mentioned the book to me but I remember getting it at the public library in my hometown and remember reading it in one day! When I came to the United States I bought the book in English and I still have it, at home, in a section dedicated to Italian books!

How did the book change you?

This book did evoke profound emotions in me as I was reading about the different stages in a woman’s life through a female perspective. Later in life, when I moved to the United States to earn a Master’s degree, I realized how influential this book has been as it literally opened my eyes on feminism and helped me better understand the problematic place that women have in any patriarchal society.