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Beauty & The Inferno: Book of the Week

Yes, this wonderful and wonderfully wide-ranging collection of articles, essays and criticism from the author of the internationally bestselling Gomorrah will be read on BBC Radio Four every morning next week. Tune in from 9.45 to 10.00 pm Monday to Friday:

Italian journalist Roberto Saviano describes the affects of writing his successful Mafia expose Gomorrah on his life and work. In this episode, he is given a rare release from enforced hiding, to take a trip to the Cannes Film Festival for the opening of the film version of his explosive book, which dramatises his insights going undercover in Naples to reveal the scale and brutality of the modern Mafia operation in Italy and beyond. He is accompanied to Cannes by the youthful stars of the film, ordinary kids from the streets of Naples who play wannabe gangsters, all of whom who have grown up, as Saviano did, in the shadow of violent organised crime.

A series of essays from Italian journalist Roberto Saviano, the celebrated author of Gomorrah – a sensational book exposing the inner workings of the Italian Mafia. Saviano explores a range of his passions, both light and dark, sharing common themes of David vs Goliath and the power of art and talent to overcome difficulties, while offering a compelling insight into his life in hiding and under permanent police protection since Gomorrah’s publication in 2006.

Saviano describes the effects on his life and work of writing the book, including a surreal ‘fish out of water’ trip to the Cannes Film Festival for the opening of the film version.

Abridged by Eileen Horne

Reader: Nicholas Murchie

Producer: Clive Brill
A Pacificus Production for BBC Radio 4.

Beauty & the Inferno is available in paperback at £8.99

Roberto Saviano invites you to Occupy Wall Street

Preview: Beauty and the Inferno

Roberto Saviano is best known for his work on the Italian mafia, but Beauty and the Inferno also tackles universal themes with great insight and humanity, with urgency, and often with anger.

This important collection includes essays on the legacy of the earthquake at L’Aquila, a town at risk of becoming overrun by mafia; on boxing as an escape route; on the life of the legendary South African jazz singer, Miriam Makeba; on an encounter with Salman Rushdie,

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and a tribute to Frank Miller, author of the graphic novel 300; on Michael Herr’s Dispatches. One essay reflects on the aftermath of the publication of his book and subsequent film, Gomorrah, and how his life has been conditioned by the mafia’s death threats, and the final essay in the collection celebrates the life of the Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya.