Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Gioia Diliberto  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult; Young Adult; Children;

Born: 1950 in Washington, DC

-- Website --
-- Gioia Diliberto on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Gioia Diliberto moved to Chicago in the 90's.

Biographical and Professional Information

Diliberto is the author of five books – two historical novels and three non-fiction. She specializes in writing about women’s lives and has been a contributor to many publications, including ''The New York Times'', ''The Chicago Tribune'', ''The Los Angeles Times'', ''Smithsonian'', ''Town & Country'', and ''Vanity Fair''. Her book, ''I am Madame X'', tells the story of Virginie Gatreau, the subject of John Singer Sargent's famous painting. ''Paris Without End: The True Story of Hemingway’s First Wife'' is a new and updated edition of ''Hadley'', the beautifully crafted, rigorously researched, and absolutely heartbreaking biography she published in 1992. Diliberto was inspired to research and write her book, ''Hadley'', about Hemingway's first wife Hadley Richardson while reading Hemingway's book, ''A Moveable Feast'' on her honeymoon in Paris.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

ISBN: 0899197353

Ticknor & Fields. 1992

A biography of Hemingway's first and most beloved wife describes Hadley and Ernest's first meeting, their courtship, family life in Paris, the birth of their son Jack, and the deterioration of their marriage

Debutante: The Story of Brenda Frazier
ISBN: 0394535162

Alfred A. Knopf. 1987

Drawing on interviews, diaries, letters, and scrapbooks, this biography traces the rise and fall of the first and most famous of the celebrity debutantes, illustrating the strange customs of three generations of high society

A Useful Woman : The Early Life of Jane Addams
ISBN: 0684853655

Scribner. 1999

The first biography in twenty-six years of Jane Addams -- founder of the Hull-House settlement and winner of the 1931 Nobel Peace Prize -- written with access to hundreds of new family documents.
"Today, Jane Addams is widely recognized as an extraordinary figure in our nation's history, one of a roster of great Americans -- Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. among them -- who made lasting contributions to social justice. But as with the lives of many iconographic figures, the legend often obscures the real story."
Frequently recognized as one of the most influential women of the century -- and considered a heroine by nurses and social workers around the globe -- Jane Addams had to struggle long and hard to earn her place in history. Born in 1860 on the eve of the Civil War, she lived during pivotal times when women were only beginning to create new roles for themselves (ironically building on the Victorian ideal of women as ministering angels).
Focusing on her metamorphosis from a frail, small-town girl into a woman who inspired hundreds of others to join her movement to serve the poor, A Useful Woman delves into the mysterious ailments and other troubles young Jane faced. Examining for the first time Jane's physical and mental health and the effect of her father's remarriage after her mother's death, biographer Gioia Diliberto directly links Addams's proneness to depression to her inability to conform to the mores of her time. Also, for the first time, she examines in detail Addams's two marriage-like relationships with women.
With hundreds of previously unavailable documents at her disposal, Diliberto has written a fascinating study of one of the most intriguing and important women in history, concentrating on her difficult formative years with compelling -- and groundbreaking -- results.

I Am Madame X: A Novel
ISBN: 0743456807

Scribner. 2004

When John Singer Sargent unveiled Madame X -- his famous portrait of American beauty Virginie Gautreau -- at the 1884 Paris Salon, its subject's bold pose and provocative dress shocked the public and the critics, smashing Sargent's dreams of a Paris career. In this remarkable novel, Gioia Diliberto tells Virginie's story, drawing on the sketchy historical facts to re-create Virginie's tempestuous personality and the captivating milieu of nineteenth-century Paris. Born in New Orleans and raised on a lush plantation, Virginie fled to France during the Civil War, where she was absorbed into the fascinating and wealthy world of grand ballrooms, dressmakers' salons, and artists' ateliers. Even before Sargent painted her portrait, Virginie's reputation for promiscuity and showy self-display made her the subject of vicious Paris gossip.
Immersing the reader in Belle Epoque Paris, I Am Madame X is a compulsively readable and richly imagined novel illuminating the struggle between Virginie and Sargent over the outcome of a painting that changed their lives and affected the course of art history.

The Collection: A Novel
ISBN: 0743280652

Scribner. 2007

A tale based on the highly competitive world of Coco Chanel follows the experiences of 1920s orphan Isabelle Varlet, who in early adulthood recovers from the death of her fianc by developing her seamstress talents and struggling through the cutthroat world of high fashion. By the author of I Am Madame X. 50,000 first printing.

Paris Without End: The True Story of Hemingway's First Wife
ISBN: 0062108824

Harper Perennial. 2011

“A bittersweetmodern love story [that] reads as easily as a novel.” —Vogue

Hemingway’screative influences for novels like The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell toArms, and The Old Man and the Sea came not only from his famoushunting trips, his liaisons in Cuba, or his relationships with Gertrude Stein,F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce and other Lost Generation writers. DuringHemingway’s period of greatest literary foment, his most seminal relationshipwas with Hadley Richardson, his first wife. In Paris Without End,acclaimed author Gioia Diliberto,biographer of Jane Addams and Brenda Frazier, delivers a gripping, novelisticexploration of Hadley’s personality and her role in Hemingway’s life, finally unclouding our view of Hemingway’s relationship with theone woman he never stopped loving.



Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

Contact Information

Agent - The Chelsea Forum 377 Rector Place Suite 12- I New York, New York 10280