Saviano Reception and Update

Last night at the Free Word Centre, in association with English PEN, we held a reception to celebrate the launch of Beauty and the Inferno, collected essays by Roberto Saviano, the author of the bestselling Gomorrah.

Sadly, Saviano was not able to attend his own launch, as the logistics of providing him with the round the clock security he needs to shield him from the mafia he campaigns so tirelessly against proved insurmountable. However, we were joined by mafia expert Misha Glenny, author of McMafia, who commented in his speech that speaking on the sames podium as Saviano in Italy was akin to supporting the Rolling Stones in concert, Oonagh Stranksy, the translator of Beauty and the Inferno, and Elisa Mantin, whose documentary Roberto Saviano: Walking in the Shadow of Death will be screened at the London International Documentary Festival.

Our wonderful friends at PEN have put some photos from the launch up on their Flickr page.

Roberto Saviano: Walking in the Shadow of Death

Once again, the details of the LIDF screenings:

Tickets for the 2 screenings for Roberto Saviano: In The Shadow of Death at the London International Documentary Festival on the 19th & 20th can now be bought through the LIDF website:

The screenings include a post-screening discussion with some of the leading names in the investigation and research into organized crime within Italy and Europe, including:

Thursday 19th May

  • Misha Glenny – British journalist who specializes in southeastern Europe and global organized crime
  • John Dickie – Professor in Italian Studies at UCL
  • Federico Varese – Professor of Criminology at the University of Oxford
  • Elisa Mantin – Director of the documentary who spent a month with Roberto Saviano
  • Chaired by: Annalisa Piras – Writer, broadcaster, freelance commentator on EU and Italian Current Affairs, TV producer with 20 years experience in International Journalism, print and broadcast. Dateline Panel at BBC + Contributor/Presenter at BBC Radio 4 + 6 years as Board Member and President of the Foreign Press Association in London

Friday 20th May

  • John Foot – Professor of Modern Italian History in the Department of Italian, UCL.
  • Federico Ippoliti – Expert on organized crime from Circolo Radio Londra of the London group of the Italian party Sinistra Ecologia e Libertà (Left Ecology and Freedom, SEL).
  • Christopher Duggan – Professor of Italian History, University of Reading. Director of Centre for Modern Italian History.
  • Gaia Servadio – Vice-President Foreign Press Association, London, and author
  • Elisa Mantin – Director of the documentary who spent a month with Roberto Saviano
  • Chaired by: Annalisa Piras


And to get you further in the mood, an interview with Saviano on the BBC’s Culture Show:


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