By CATHARINE MORRIS
Ten years ago, at the age of twenty-six, the Italian writer Roberto Saviano published Gomorrah, an anatomy of the Neapolitan mafia. It was inspired by his own disturbing experiences of violence in his home city, and grew out of an extended period of undercover investigation.
In an article published in the Financial Times last year, Misha Glenny described what life has been like for Saviano since then:
“He is shadowed wherever he goes by between five and seven armed members of the Carabinieri, the elite police squadron that has been responsible for his security since 2006 . . . . To begin with, he had to sleep in a different apartment every night; his family have either been forced into witness protection or compelled to renounce him; and even abroad he needs armed protection around the clock. To this day, he cannot possibly form normal relationships as anyone close to him is transformed automatically into a proxy target for the Camorra. Unlike Salman Rushdie’s fatwa, which was negotiated away by the Iranian and British governments, the Camorra death sentence is for life.”