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The Unique Women of the Venetian Republic

216 pages
Libros Publishing LLC
In The Unique Women of the Venetian Republic, international award-winning author Connie Spenuzza vibrantly chronicles women's contributions to Venice from the 1400s to the end of the Republic in 1797. Despite societal norms that prohibited these Venetian women to advance as artists, authors, craftswomen, musicians, publishers, scholars—and even divas and courtesans par excellence—their dauntless search for knowledge transformed La Serenissima. Since Spenuzza's first sojourn to a decaying Venice in 1973, she has returned to La Serenissima biennially (for over fifty years) to study what is at the heart of these trailblazing women. In this book, Spenuzza takes you for a stroll along the narrow calli of Venice, shining a light into the watery depths of a history that has submerged the accomplishments of its own Venetian female stars. Witness the brilliant trajectory of scholarly prodigy Cassandra Felede in 1499 and her abject poverty by 1547. Vicariously attend the lively discussions held at the Venetian ghetto home of multilingual salonnière Sarra Copia Sulam (1592–1641), only to see her withdraw with fear once the Venetian government imposed even more severe measures on its Jewish population. Listen to the dulcet sounds of Barbara Strozzi (1619–1677), the successful composer, musician, and singer, as she rises to fame while maintaining a complex financial control over her wealth. Admire Julia Lama's artistic commitment and success despite facing society's ridicule for her facial difference. Spenuzza's lavishly illustrated work celebrates the vitality of the many incomparable Venetian women whose talents uplifted La Serenissima.
Author Bio
Connie Spenuzza, M.S. Ed, received first place from the International Latino Book Awards for her novels Lucia Zárate (2017), Missing in Machu Picchu (2013), and Traces of Bliss (2012). Her travel memoir Jubilant Journeys (2019) was awarded second place, following first place winner and Nobel Peace Prize nominee José Andrés. At the London Book Festival, Chocolate Runs Through My Veins (2022) was runner-up for the nonfiction and memoir award categories. The Association of American Publishers and Las Comadres selected her novels to the National Latino Book Club. Foreword Reviews selected Lucía Zárate as an INDIES Book of the Year finalist. The Smithsonian Institution endorsed her children’s bilingual fable Olinguito Speaks Up. In 2021, her art history book Spanish Colonial Paintings Paired with European Engravings debuted with an immersive multimedia exhibit at the California landmark Mission San Juan Capistrano. Connie serves on the board of directors of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, the Orange County Museum of Art, the South Coast Repertory, and the Preservation Foundation of the Mission San Juan Capistrano. The Newport Beach Public Library Foundation selected Connie, and her history book Chocolate Runs Through My Veins, as the 2022 featured speaker. She has been invited to speak at the Los Angeles Times Book Festival, Book Expo America, the Guadalajara Book Festival, the Big Orange Book Festival, and the Smithsonian Institution. Connie was born in Ecuador and raised in California and France. She received her graduate degree from the University of Southern California, speaks four languages, and has traveled to 128 countries. She lives in Dana Point, California.