23. ilb 06. – 16.09.2023
Portrait Antonella Lattanzi
© Valerio Azzali

Antonella Lattanzi

Antonella Lattanzi was born in 1979 in Bari and studied literature in Rome. Her first stories are dedicated to the traditions of her home region of Apulia – to its legends, fairy tales, secrets, and curiosities. Her début novel »Devozione« (2010; tr: Devotion) is about a young couple who are addicted to heroin. With addiction driving their lives, they ultimately kidnap a small girl from a supposedly wealthy family, believing that the ransom money will allow them to solve all their financial problems. Lattanzi was a finalist for the Premio Stresa for her second novel »Prima che tu mi tradisca« (2013; tr: Before You Betray Me), the plot of which is based on a shocking, forgotten bomb attack on the Bari harbor in the winter of 1943. Her most recent novel »Una storia nera« (2017; tr: A Dark Story) is a family drama set against the backdrop of a gloomy Rome: Despite obsessive love, the relationship between Carla and Vito is characterized by violence. Carla must endure Vito’s petty beatings and is plagued by his unrelenting jealousy. When their two oldest children, Nicola and Rosa, are old enough, Carla finally finds the courage to leave and moves out along with Mara, the youngest daughter. It is Mara’s third birthday and Carla continues to be followed and threatened by Vito. But because it is her daughter’s birthday wish, she invites Vito to the birthday celebration. The two oldest children are also there, allowing the family to be together again after a long time. At first, the party goes well. But in the evening, Vito disappears without a trace. Despite the implications of its title and certain elements like a missing person, a discovered corpse, and a murder trial, »Una storia nera« is neither noir fiction nor a thriller in the classic sense. Lattanzi primarily focuses on the ruined relationship between Carla and Vito. Over time, Vito’s double life is revealed. It is above all the opacity of the characters and the alternating perspectives on the events that lend the novel its idiosyncratic tension.

Antonella Lattanzi also writes for print media such as »Tuttolibri de La Stampa« and »Il Venerdì de La Repubblica« as well as scripts for television programs such as »Le invasioni barbariche« and films such as »Fiore« (2016), together with Claudio Giovannesi and Filippo Gravino. She will also write the script for the planned screen adaptation of her most recent novel »Una storia nera«. Since 2010, Lattanzi has taught at the Scuola Holden, the school for creative writing founded by Alessandro Baricco and Carlo Feltrinelli. She lives in Rome.


Turin, 2010
Prima che tu mi tradisca
Turin, 2013
A Casa Nostra
Junge italienische Literatur
Berlin, 2011
Noch war es Nacht
Reinbek, 2018
[Ü: Margit Knapp]