Niccolo Ammaniti: Life & Work
A study of modern Italian horror and crime literature would not be complete without mention of Niccolo Ammaniti, a renowned Italian author memorable for thrilling novels whose plot lines are almost impossible to forget and usually feature a complex father-son relationship. This essay focuses on tracing the life of Niccolo Ammaniti, his place and contributions within Italian pulp, and role as part of the giovanni cannibali, as well as how his interaction within these literary movements shaped his work, Io Non Ho Paura.
Niccolo Ammaniti was born in Rome on September 25, 1966. Although most of his novels have childhood and adolescence as integral aspects of the themes, not much is known about Ammaniti’s own childhood. He studied Biological Sciences at the University of Rome, but never officially graduated because he only finished sixteen of the eighteen exams necessary. His career as a writer was born, though, out of keeping his inability to graduate hidden from his father, Massimo. Instead, Ammaniti lied and said he had completed his university exams and was already attempting to write his thesis. Ammaniti’s father, a professor of General and Developmental Psychopathology at La Sapienza University in Rome, immediately offered his study to Ammaniti to help him focus solely on his thesis, without distractions.
During the three months Ammaniti spent in his father’s studio, he began a thesis named “Release of Acetylcholinesterase in Neuroblastoma,” but because he hadn’t even graduated the thesis quickly transformed into a short story. He began writing his first novel, Branchie!, born out of a thesis about neurons and synapses that transformed into a story about a fish-breeder who had terminal lung cancer. The plot, teeming with fish and evil cosmetic surgeons, completely transformed his scientific focus into a form of dark and psychological fiction that would become a signature of his works. During the time he began...