Melania G. Mazzucco was born in Rome in 1966. She made her debut in fiction with Il bacio della Medusa (Medusa’s Kiss, 1996), followed by La camera di Baltus (Baltus’ s Room, 1998), and Lei così amata (She, So Loved), about the Swiss writer and traveller Annemarie Schwarzenbach, has been published in 2000, and awarded with the Premio Napoli. In 2007, Mazzucco translated into Italian and edited a selection of Annemarie Schwarzenbach’s short stories, La gabbia dei falconi (Bei Diesem Regen. Erzählungen, 1934/1935).
Her novel Vita (2003) obtained the Premio Strega, Italy’s most important literary award. In Spain, it won the International Prize Arcebispo Juan de San Clemente for best foreign novel of the year 2004-2005. In 2005, it also became the Globe & Mail Book of the Year, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, and one of the Publishers Weekly Top Ten Books of the Year, the only foreign work in the list.