Molly McArdle

  • culture November 19, 2018

    The Piranhas by Roberto Saviano

    In English, “novel” equals “fiction”—the meaning is unambiguous. In Italian, however, it’s a bit more complicated. The word romanzo describes a book-length prose narrative, but it does not distinguish between fact and fiction. In the work of Roberto Saviano—Italy’s most famous living writer save fellow Neapolitan Elena Ferrante—they regularly bleed together. Since 2007, when Saviano’s first book, Gomorrah, was translated into English, US readers have had difficulty navigating this ambiguity. Categorized as a romanzo in Italy, Gomorrah was presented as a work of “investigative writing” by its