Gomorrah, Roberto Saviano’s 2006 exposé ofNaples’s Camorra mafia, was an internationalbestseller and became an award-winning film.But the death threats that followed forced theauthor into hiding. Saviano was ostracized by hiscountrymen and went on the run, changing hislocation every few months and compelled to keepperpetual company with his bodyguards. To thisday, he lives in an undisclosed location.
The loneliness of the fugitive life informs all theessays in Beauty and the Inferno, Saviano’s firstbook since Gomorrah. Among other subjects, hewrites about the legendary South African jazzsinger Miriam Makeba, his meeting with the real-lifeDonnie Brasco, sharing the Nobel Academyplatform with Salman Rushdie, and the murderedRussian journalist Anna Politkovskaya. Presentthroughout the book is a sense of Saviano’speculiar isolation, which infuses his words withanger, exceptional insight and tragedy.
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September 17, 2012
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