Modern Italian Authors - a must to read!

Italian literary tradition offers a great number of writers and works that revolutionized its culture, increasing the value and the prestige and leading it to become one of the most renowned and admired of the world. Therefore, modern Italian writers, help to keep enhancing this heritage! Many of these novels have also made it into film, such as the Italian novel written by the judge Giancarlo De Cataldo, Romanzo Criminale. Many of these works have been made into TV  movies or films.

Niccolò Ammaniti

"I'm not scared" - this masterpiece was born from the mind and the pen of  Niccolò Ammaniti and it is set in the deep south of Italy, in a rural village in 1978.

The plot revolves around the young Michele and his incredible discovery: a hideout where a kidnapped contemporary of his is segregated. In that moment he decides to, thanks to his courage and specificity, to run off on a mission to rescue his contemporary from his captivity.

The story is really exciting and gripping and it will leave you with bated breath. Moreover in 2003, a film adaptation, directed by Gabriele Salvatores, was made.

Stefano Benni  - The Timeskipper

Stefano Benni is one of Italy's most beloved author.  In this novel , Timeskipper, the prose is so compelling as Benni plays with language, create words out of fantasy, and makes fun of the Italians’ habits and contradictions. There are subtle critical messages of Italy's contemporary society included throughout the novel.

The Timeskipper is slightly autobiographic and moves across the changes and challenges Italy faced from the post-WW2 years to the dawning of the globalization era.

My brilliant friend - Elena Ferrante

This novel, written by Elena Ferrante, is actually, a series of four novels. The main theme is the woman, in all her facets: highlighting the position of women over time, the weaknesses and strengths of women, the relationship between woman and man, but above all, being woman and, at the same time, daughter, mother or friend of another woman, also taking into account the competition and the jealousy that is associated with these relationships.

The book revolves around the stories of Lila and Lenù, two women who were born and raised in a poor zone of Naples, in misery and violence. In their complicated relationship, which is characterized by envy but also, a lot of love, they share the project to write a book together to leave the neighborhood.  There is also a TV series with  8 episodes "My Brilliant Friend – The Story of a New Name" on RAI. And  on HBO’s  and RAI a TV series based on Elena Ferrante’s bestselling “Neapolitan Novels,” was unveiled recently in Italy.

Roberto Saviano - Gomorra

This book, written by Roberto Saviano, reveals the plots and the secrets which are hidden behind the Italian criminal organization renowned with the name of Camorra. The plot, which is mainly set in Campania,  introduces the reader to the dark world oft the cruel world of the Comorra. Since the release of the novel, the author Saviano has therefore been  living under 24/7 security, because he has become a target for the Camorra, whose secrets and illicit business were exposed in the book. The book has also been made into a TV series on RAI, "La Gamorra - la serie".

Margaret Mazzantini - Don't move

The author, which is one of the most brilliant Italian female writers, sharply and faithfully portrays the contemporary Italian society through the unofficial, tragic love story between a middle-class married man and a woman with a problematic life. This novel has no room for stereotyped situations or concepts. The narration will lead you through the infinite spectrum of the human emotions and when you’ll re-emerge you will feel like you’ve really gone through a lot, or maybe too much. Margaret Mazzantini isn’t afraid to investigate the human soul and to talk about uncomfortable truths which are both Italian and international. Film made in 2004 by director Sergio Castellitto, with Penelope Cruz and Sergio Castellito.

Dacia Maraini - The Silent Duchess

This is the story of the life of Marianna Ucria, a noblewoman living in the 18th Century Sicily. Marianna is “special”: she’s deaf and dumb yet she feels and understands as everyone else does, and even better. The novel was acclaimed for the historic reconstruction and for the rich plot. It has already inspired millions of readers all over the world. Get it immediately if you want to experience Sicily as it was 300 years ago and to know what is the shocking secret that lies behind Marianna’s disability.

La concessione del telefono

It’s a work written by the great, and recently passed away, Andrea Camilleri, who was also the author of the famous”Commissario Montalbano”. The novel is set in Sicily, at the end of the 19th century, and is characterized by a hilarious plot full of misunderstandings. The main character is Filippo Genuardi, a small lumber trader, who, in an attempt to get a phone line installed between his stock and his father-in-law’s house, will eventually end up in a series of paradoxical and even dangerous situations. In short, it’s a masterpiece you cannot miss! The book was also made into a TV film on RAI.

Blindly - Claudio Magris

This masterpiece written by Claudio Magris, published in 2005 , is a collection of short travel notes, memories that the author lived in the period that goes from 1981 to 2004. Who is the mysterious narrator of Blindly? He is clearly a recluse and a fugitive. It is Jorgen Jorgenson, the nineteenth-century adventurer who became king of Iceland but was condemned to forced labour in the Antipodes. But it is also Comrade Cippico, militant Italian communist, imprisoned for years in Tito's gulag on the "naked island" of Goli Otok. And it is the many partisans, prisoners, sailors, and stowaways who recount the perils of travel, war, and adventure.

It’s mostly a series of reflections in which the author, by establishing an inner dialogue with himself, meditates about the meaning of “viaggiare” (travelling) through his personal experiences. 

The art of Joy - Goliarda Sapienza

This Italian novel, the Art of Joy by Goliarda Sapienza, gained a remarkable success overseas, but isn’t the favorite subject of mainstream Italian literary critics. It was published posthumously by the Alternative Press publishing house. The author was a Sicilian theatre actress, director, and teacher. The protagonist, Modesta, is an energetic woman born into a miserable family and later sold to a nunnery. The “art of joy” is what makes her thrive through the storm life throws at her and the uncertainty of the future. If you want to know more about Modesta’s life philosophy and how she managed to put her dreams before anything else, get this book immediately.

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