Erri De Luca

Enrico "Erri" De Luca (born 20 May 1950, Naples)[1][2] is an Italian novelist, translator and poet. He has been recognized by critic Giorgio De Rienzo of Corriere della Sera as "the writer of the decade".[3] He is also known for his opposition to the Lyon-Turin high speed train line, and is being sued for having called for its sabotage. On 19 October 2015, De Luca was cleared of inciting criminal damage. He reacted to the not-guilty verdict declaring that "An injustice has been avoided."[4]

Erri De Luca


Erri De Luca's original first name was Enrico (Henry), an homage to his grandmother, who had American nationality, but defined by him as an "accident."

Upon completing high school in 1968 Erri De Luca joined the radical left-wing movement Lotta Continua. After the organization's disbanding he left political involvement. He worked as a blue-collar worker at the Fiat factory in Turin and at the Catania airport. He was also a truck driver and a mason, working at job sites in Italy, France, and Africa. He rode relief convoys in Yugoslavia during the war between 1993 and 1999.

Erri De Luca is self-taught in several languages including Ancient Hebrew, Swahili, Russian and Yiddish. He has translated books of the Old Testament from Old Hebrew and written commentaries on the Sacred Texts, as a "non-believer". He has published more than 70 books, numerous collections of short stories and poems, translated into more than 30 languages.

He appeared in a cameo role (of a mechanic) in the film L'isola, by Costanza Quadriglio. Erri De Luca's debut as a screenwriter and leading actor was in the short film Di là del Vetro (Beyond the Glass), presented at The Venice Film Festival 2011, Italy, World Premiere. "A night-time conversation between a man and his mother and a trip down memory lane through the phantoms of life. Erri De Luca opens the door to his house, transporting us into the universe of the past."

Again, with "The Nightshift Belongs to the Stars" he was a screenwriter and actor, directed by Edoardo Ponti. The short was on the shortlist for the 2013 Academy Awards and won an award at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival. In the same year, Erri De Luca began writing the story for the documentary film, "Trees that Walk", and in 2014 he wrote and interpreted, "A Musical Imprinting," a musical biography about his life.

In 2018 he co-produced the movie "Happy Times", directed by Michael Mayer.

De Luca is a passionate mountain climber. A reclusive character, he currently lives in the countryside of Rome.


Although he never stopped writing since he was 20, his first book was published in 1989, Non ora, non qui (Not now, not here). Many more books followed, best-sellers in Italy, France and Israel, his work being translated and published in Spain, Portugal, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, USA, Brazil, Poland, Norway, Denmark, Romania, Greece, Lithuania, and more. He has himself translated several books of the Bible into Italian, including Exodus, Jonah, Ecclesiastes, and Ruth, and explored various aspects of Judaism, as a non-believer.

In France, he received the France Culture Prize in 1994 for Aceto, arcobaleno, the Laure Bataillon Award in 2002 for Tre cavalli and, also in 2002, the Fémina Étranger for Montedidio, translated in English as God's Mountain. In 2010 he was given the German international literary Petrarca-Preis. He was a member of the jury at the Cannes Festival in 2003. In 2013, he received the European Prize for Literature. In 2016, he received European Book Prize for his novel "Le plus et le moins". In 2020 he received Le prix André Malraux.

Erri De Luca wrote for various newspapers (La Repubblica, Il Corriere della Sera Il Mattino, Avvenire), and other magazines.


  • Non ora, non qui, Feltrinelli, 1989
  • Una nuvola come tappeto, Feltrinelli, 1991
  • Aceto, Arco baleno, Feltrinelli, 1992
  • I colpi dei sensi, Fahrenheit 451, Milano, 1993
  • Prove di risposta, Edizioni Nuova Cultura, Roma, 1994
  • In alto a sinistra, Feltrinelli, 1994
  • Pianoterra, articoli, Qiqajon, Bose, Magnano, 1995
  • Il cronista scalzo e altri scritti, Legatoria del Sud
  • Alzaia, Feltrinelli, 1997
  • Ora prima, Qiqajon, Bose, Magnano, 1997
  • Tu, mio, Feltrinelli, 1998 (Me, You, Other Press)
  • Tufo, Dante & Descartes, 1999
  • Tre cavalli, Feltrinelli, 1999 (Three Horses, Other Press)
  • Un papavero rosso all'occhiello senza coglierne il fiore, Interattiva, 2000
  • Montedidio, Feltrinelli, 2002 (God's Mountain, Other Press)
  • Opera sull'acqua e altre poesie (poetry), Einaudi, 2002
  • Lettere da una citta' bruciata, Dante & Descartes, 2002
  • Nocciolo d'oliva, EMP, 2002
  • Il contrario di uno, Feltrinelli, 2003
  • Immanifestazione, Dante & Descartes, 2003
  • Morso di luna nuova. Racconto per voci in tre stanze, Mondadori, 2004
  • Precipitazioni, Dante & Descartes, 2004
  • Chisciottimista, Dante & Descartes, 2005
  • In nome della madre, Feltrinelli, 2006
  • Sulla traccia di Nives, Mondadori, 2006
  • Napolide", Dante & Descartes, 2006
  • Sottosopra (with Gennaro Matino), Mondadori, 2007
  • lettere fraterne (with Izet Sarajilic), Dante & Descartes, 2007
  • L'isola è una conchiglia, La Conchiglia, 2008
  • Almeno cinque (with Gennaro Matino), Feltrinelli, 2008
  • L'ospite incallito (poetry), Einaudi, 2008
  • Il cielo in una stalla, Infinito, 2008
  • Tentativi di scoraggiamento (a darsi alla scrittura), Dante & Descartes, 2009 (Attempts at discouragement (when taking up writing))
  • Penultime notizie circa Ieshu/Gesù, Messaggero, 2009
  • Il giorno prima della felicità, Feltrinelli, 2009 (The Day Before Happiness, Other Press)
  • Il peso della farfalla, Feltrinelli, 2009
  • Tu non c'eri, Dante & Descartes, 2010
  • Rivolte inestirpabili, Forum Edizioni, 2010
  • E disse, Feltrinelli, 2011
  • Le sante dello scandalo, La Giuntina, 2011
  • I pesci non chiudono gli occhi, Feltrinelli, 2011
  • Il Turno di Notte lo Fanno le Stelle, Feltrinelli, 2012 ("The Nightshift Belongs to the Stars")
  • Il torto del soldato, Feltrinelli, 2012
  • Il Turno di Notte lo fanno le Stelle, OH!PEN/Feltrinelli, 2012
  • La doppia Vita dei Numeri, Feltrinelli, 2012
  • The Nightshift Belongs to the Stars, Feltrinelli 2012
  • Ti sembra il Caso?, Feltrinelli 2013
  • Storia di Irene, Feltrinelli 2013
  • The Crime of a Soldier, Feltrinelli
  • La musica Provata (A Musical Imprinting), Feltrinelli 2014
  • La parola contraria, Feltrinelli 2015
  • Il più e il meno, Feltrinelli 2016
  • La Faccia delle nuvole, Feltrinelli 2016
  • La Natura Esposta, Feltrinelli 2016
  • Diavoli Custodi, Feltrinelli 2017
  • Il giro dell’oca, Feltrinelli 2018
  • Impossibile, Feltrinelli 2019
  • A Grandezza Naturale, Feltrinelli 2021

Translations by the authorEdit

  • Esodo/Nomi, Feltrinelli, 1994
  • Giona/Iona, Feltrinelli, 1995
  • kohelet/Ecclesiaste, Feltrinelli, 1996
  • Il libro di Ruth, Feltrinelli, 1999
  • Salmo secondo ovvero Elogio del massimo timore, in Micromega, 2000
  • Noah Ansheldell'altro mondo (of Dovid Katz), translation from Yiddish, Dante & Descartes, 2002
  • Vita di Sansone dal libro Giudici/Shoftim, Feltrinelli, 2002
  • Vita di Noè/Noa, Feltrinelli, 2004
  • L'ospite di pietra. L'invito a morte di Don Giovanni. Piccola tragedia in versi, Feltrinelli, 2005
  • Canto del popolo yiddish messo a morte (of Ytshak Katzenelson), Mondadori, 2009


  1. ^ "Sentenza del processo a Erri de Luca". 19 January 2016.
  2. ^ ""Il giro dell'oca" di Erri de Luca: Scoprire il genio e l'arte delle parole | Paese Sud". 15 January 2020.
  3. ^ "Erri de Luca at the Institute". Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles. Archived from the original on 2010-02-09. Retrieved 2010-01-27.
  4. ^ Corriere della Sera (in Italian). (19 October 2015). "Processo no Tav, assolto Erri De Luca "Fatto non sussiste", applausi in aula. Il commento: meno male che è finita". Retrieved 2015-10-19.

External linksEdit