I know several Italian authors that have made big names for themselves. Absolutely none of the authors that I can think of are contemporary though. I can think of Dante, Machiavelli, Ovid, Petrarch, etc. It’s sort of sad that most of my Italian literary knowledge is historical. Who are some good, contemporary Italian authors?
Honestly, the only one I could think of was Dante so I googled contemporary Italian authors. It’s quite an impressive list. I shall go in search of some of these books soon,
If by contemporary you mean authors who are still living, I think also Camilleri with his series about Commissario Montalbano is quite famous also outside Italy. And journalist Beppe Severgnini, who has often written about the juxtaposition between Italian and American culture.
@Antonia, I googled as well but you’re right, it’s an extensive list. I’m also wondering which authors are popular within Italy. Do they have their own John Grisham? Stephen King? Basically, I’m wondering which ones would be considered household names.
@fkasara, authors still living or within the last century, I guess. I’ll have to checkout both of the writers you mentioned. Thank you for bringing them to my attention. Those works sound brilliant.
I’m thinking about Italian writers of the 20th century, which books were translated in English…those related to the WWII were for example by Primo Levi, who wrote about his awful experience in the concentration camp of Auschwitz in a way which was almost philosophical ( “Survival in Auschwitz” in the US, “If this is a man” in UK + “The truce”) and by Mario Rigoni Stern titled “The Seargent in the Snow”.
Concerning still living authors, if you enjoy non-fiction about Italian spots and mentality you should try “The Secrets of Italy” and “The Secrets of Rome” by Corrado Augias.
@fkasara, you are providing some great information. I think that I’ve heard of Primo Levi’s work, but I’ve never read it. A philosophical take on an awful experience in Auschwitz sounds like an interesting read. I will have to look into Stern as well. I’m definitely interested in non-fiction books about those subjects, so thank you so much for pointing me in Corrado’s direction!
You’re welcome! I’m a native Italian, so if you need tips about something in particular, ask away!
Thanks, @fkasara. I’m reading “The Secrets of Italy” right now and I’m absolutely loving it so far. That was a wonderful suggestion. What part of Italy are you from?
I read the Italian version and I loved it as well. Glad you are enjoying it
I’m from Veneto, the region of Venice.
I read contemporary Italian authors (sadly in English translations - though I do have the Italian version next to my English one).
I’ll post some reviews here. Starting with Alessandro Baricco’s “Silk”
This short novel was a present and I love it. Here’s a quote from the back cover :
Around about 1860, to save French silkworm farms which were infected by an epidemic, Hervé Joncour went to Japan to buy healthy eggs. This was a period of time when Japan was closed to most foreigners. It is the story of the culture shock for Hervé and also a story of love and war. The novel has a magic which weaves together long and dangerous journeys and impossible love. It is a sensuous novel written with a velvet voice as smooth and tactile as the silk of. It is slow, but the slowness is of the seasons and immutable time. It is exquisite.
There is also a film adaptation made in 2007 with Keira Knightley - but I’ve not seen it (yet).
Hi, I’m new here, but just wanted to say that I’m so jealous that you can read Italian, even though you said that you are a native, so it makes sense. I love reading, so I’m going to check out some of the books that you have recommended here. It’s so great to go shopping with a goal in mind of getting specific books, helps me to stay focused.
@Penelope Ciao Penelope, welcome I hope you will enjoy the books we recommended. Having specific titles in mind does indeed help to stay focused. Let us know what you think about them
Ciao to you too . Thanks for your suggestions, I’m leaning toward “The Secrets of Italy” as a place to start. I have several books in my home about Italian art and culture. They’re informative, but I’m looking forward to reading books about Italy with a little bit more meat to them.