Simona Weller
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Novels by Simona Weller

Il cuore, la guerra e la parola
(Heart, War and Word)
Ombra editrice - 1991

In 1991, during the Gulf War, a group of Italian women writers (Adele Cambria, Maria Rosa Cutrufelli, Luce d’Eramo, Cecilia Gatto Trocchi, Vanna Gazzola Stacchini, Elena Gianini Belotti, Armanda Guiducci, Laura Lilli, Dacia Maraini, Lidia Menapace, Lia Migale, Marisa Rusconi, Goliarda Sapienza, Clara Sereni and Simona Weller) met in order to reflect, one after one, on themes about war, love and writing. These meetings generated a collective book which turned into a precious and unique historical testimony.

Il Pantano del Diavolo
(The Devil’s Swamp)
Editori & Associati - 1994

An intricately dramatic love story reaches its finale against the background of a winter in Cote d’Azur and an esoteric Paris. The title of this short and mysterious novel is inspired by a boat-theatre along the Seine River. To increase the mystery there is also the suggestive appearance of the writer Alba de Céspedes.

Ritratto di Angelica
(Portrait of Angelica)
Avagliano Editore - 1998

In 1807, just a few months before dying, the famous Neo-classical painter Angelica Kauffmann found refugee in her Roman studio where she burned letters and documents. What was she hiding, which secret was she erasing? Through a voyage in time, Weller analyzes the mysterious and fascinating life of this important 18th-century artist following her in the European courts of the time: from Rome to Naples, from Venice to Milan, from Paris to London. This book is simultaneously a travel through the history and civilization of a great century and through the inner soul of an extraordinary artist. Angelica, the woman, anticipates time while experiencing the contradictions and difficulties of those who aim at reconciling love and art, success and private life.

Una Rosa nel Cuore
(A Rose in the Heart)
Avagliano Editore - 2000

This novel takes place in Paris at the end of the 19th century, precisely in the artists’ enclave of Montmarte, where a courageous young girl, named Marie Clémentine, begins her life as the future Suzanne Valadon.
In order to survive she works as an acrobat and as a model of famous painters
(Puvis de Chevannes, Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec…), yet her dream is to become an artist herself. Thanks to Lautrec’s and Degas’ admiration, she was, eventually, able to become an artist. Suzanne liked to define herself as the “daughter of the tempest” or a “creature of another world” and her origins are, actually, rather obscure. She was not educated to become a woman in the conventional way and, thus, her creativity, talent, sexuality bloomed with a kind of freedom usually allowed to men only. This novel, rigorously documented, sheds light on the every day life of the impressionists and, above all, it clears from any superficiality the legend of Suzanne Valadon, justly defined a rose in the heart of Montmartre.

Avagliano Editore - 2002

Suzanne, the magic of Paris. “She had two big light extraordinary eyes, her hair was combed in bands and more than walking she seemed to dance….” This is the way in which, in 1909, the young painter André Utter described Suzanne Valadon at the age of forty-two. Utter had married Suzanne and together with their son, Maurice Utrillo, formed a cursed triad among the geniuses of the time: Apollinaire, Picasso, Max Jacob, Modigliani. But who was in reality Suzanne Valadon? Simona Weller studied, with attentive analysis and rare passion, Valadon’s life and history digging into the depth of her past as an acrobat, model, mother by fate, lover for fun, painter by vocation. After having dealt with her youth in the previous novel “Una rosa nel cuore” (A Rose in the Heart), in this second book on Valadon, Weller turns her attention toward the artist’s maturity—contemporary with Josephine Baker, Colette, Coco Chanel— especially, to when Suzanne, among explosions of happiness, inevitably confronted the trivial banality of evil..

Memorie di una pittrice perbene
(Memories of a Well to Do Woman Painter)
Avagliano Editore - 2004

This novel takes place in Rome in the time of Totò, Fellini and De Sica. The protagonist is a young girl who, just after high school, dreams about her future life as a painter. The novel narrates the intricate net of difficulties and extraordinary meetings that Laudomia Giglioni had to confront. Her life goal consecrated her as an international artist and enabled her to understand how much sorrow she had left behind. Nurtured by pictorial myths (Gaugain) and good readings (Conrad, Simone de Beauvoir), Laudomia fought against the prejudices and conventions of the post-war society facing, with the peculiar energy of the new type of woman, travels and adventures, creativity and sexual freedom. This novel can be simultaneously visited as an art- exhibition and read with the curiosity of an intimate diary—it is a jewel with memorable gems: the meeting with Mirò, the friendship with De Chirico, the revelation of Sandro Penna, the solidarity of Paola and Rita Levi Montalcini…

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