Roberto Saviano in NYC

Gomorra by Roberto Saviano

Roberto Saviano, author of the best selling book Gomorrah, spoke last Thursday at the Festival of International Literature in NYC. Gomorrah, a chilling account of the Camorra’s deep connections with the “legal” Italian economy, sold more one million copy in Italy and has been translated in 33 languages.

Alexander Stille, professor at Columbia University and author of Excellent Cadavers, an analysis of the Sicilian Mafia, says about Gomorrah:

What the book does so well is to remind people, as if it needed reminding, that a third of the country is essentially condemned to a state of permanent underdevelopment because of the persistent, and in many ways increasing, dominance of organized crime.

Roberto Saviano is 29 years old and has received repeated threats by the Camorra. He has no regular home and lives under police protection.

Gomorra by Roberto Saviano

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One thought on “Roberto Saviano in NYC

  1. ‘…e poi le flatulenze dei suoi guardaspalle che saturavano la casa di un odore dolciastro avevano appestato anche la mia stanza. Non era solo la puzza a disgustare, ma anche le immagini che quella puzza ti sprigionava in mente. Involtini primavera in putrefazione nei loro stomaci e riso alla cantonese macerato nei succhi gastrici…’

    Although on the whole Gomorra is a great book, no poetic license can justify this racist description. Mr Saviano is playing to a populist anti-Chinese sentiment currently widespread in Italy. In a future revised edition I would suggest editing or deleting the excerpt cited above. There are other ways to depict low-life.

    These racial slurs appear on TV commercials as well. The one in question is about an after-dinner lozenge. A man walks out of a restaurant and to his surprise and disgust begins to speak in Chinese. Some friends of his come to his rescue by offering him the product. In the background there is a sign saying “YUK Chinese Restaurant.” This TV commercial is only an example of this general anti-Chinese climate pervading Italian society.

    I say this: don’t blame the Chinese for your social, political and economic ills.
    Members of the Chinese ‘mafia’ wear Ermenegildo Zegna and Armani suits.

    God Bless!

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