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The author of 'Gomorrah' to live in exile

Text by Alexis MASCIARELLI

Latest update : 2009-01-05

After death threats, Roberto Saviano, author of the bestseller "Gomorrah", has decided to live in exile. The 1.2 million copies sold in Italy, and the recent film adaptation, have focused the public attention on the Neapolitan mafia.

Italian writer Roberto Saviano says he is ready to live in exile to escape death threats from the Neapolitan mafia, whose violent organization and traffics are detailed in his bestselling book “Gomorrah”.

Police in Italy have confirmed they are investigating tips from a mafia turncoat about a fresh plan to assassinate Saviano by Christmas.

Since the publication of his bestseller two years ago, Saviano has been living in hiding under 24-hour police protection. "I am going to leave Italy, at least for a while", said Saviano, 29, in an interview to La Repubblica newspaper. "I sometimes think to myself, ‘I would like to have my former life back’. I don’t see any reason to insist in living that way, like a prisoner of myself, of my book, of my success.”

Saviano believes that it is mostly the public success of ‘Gomorrah’ that has infuriated the Camorra bosses.
“It’s the readers that scare them, not me”, he said.

‘Gomorrah’ has sold 1.2 million copies in Italy and has been translated into 42 languages. The film is a great success, winning the Grand Prize of the festival at the Cannes and is now a candidate for the Oscars. Some politicians and the local Catholic church have expressed their support to the writer.

"Neither Roberto Saviano, nor anyone working honestly and defending legality should feel alone", said Walter Veltroni, leader of the center-left opposition.

Date created : 2008-10-15