A Talk by Mary Donnarumma Sharnick who has been writing ever since the day she printed her name on her first library card at the old Silas Bronson Library. A Waterbury native and daughter of retired Fairfield University professor Carmen Donnarumma, the second generation Fairfield U. grad will return to her first and favorite library to give a lecture on 17th century Venetian women and sign her first novel, Tuesday, June 19 at 6:30 p.m. Her presentation, “Women of Venice: Wives, Nuns & Courtesans” will focus on the fascinating but limited lifestyles (one could hardly say “choices”) of 17th century Venetian women, whose roles are depicted in Thirst, a novel peppered with murder, marriage, love, lust, politics, religion and intrigue during the summer of 1613.
Sharnick inherited her love of Italian culture from her parents and Italian-born grandparents and fell in love with Italy – and Venice in particular – on her first visit in 1969. Fascinated by “La Serenissima”, (the most serene republic, as Venice was called) and the islands of the Venetian Lagoon, Sharnick, who also holds a master’s degree in Renaissance Studies from Trinity College, Hartford, has returned to the city numerous times. A Solo Writer’s Fellowship from the Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation afforded her the opportunity to do research and begin writing her book in there during the summer of 2010.
Following in the academia footsteps of her father, who chaired the History Department at Fairfield, Sharnick, who proudly keeps her maiden name as a middle name, chairs the English Department at Chase Collegiate School where she teaches writing. Her love of history, influenced by her father and grandfather, made her a natural for writing historical fiction.
She also co-edits The Litchfield Review and is a member of the Connecticut Muse Literary Society. Her non-fiction work has appeared in various journals including Healing Ministry, America, and Italian Americana. Her short story “The Rule,” was published in a recent edition of Voices in Italian Americana. She was also invited to read from her work at the 41st annual convention of the American Italian Historical Association.
With her husband Wayne, she leads her writing students on “slow travel” tours of Italy, the country she considers her second home.
The Bronson program is free and open to the public.