Born in Trieste in 1957 into a family
related to the famous writer Italo
Svevo, Susanna Tamaro grew up with her maternal grandmother, who became her guardian
when her parents separated
immediately after she was born.
After qualifying at a teachers' training college, she
moved to Rome and enrolled on a film directing course.
In 1979 she worked as Salvatore Samperi's assistant on "Liquirizia", where she also made a brief appearance
as an obsessive pinball player. She began
her film career with a number of television
In the meantime she wrote novels and
short stories, eventually publishing "La testa fra
le nuvole" (1989), which won her the Elsa
Her literary powers
became more finely tuned in the short stories of "Per voce
sola (For solo voice)" (1991, Pen Club prize), which won her the
esteem of influential critics (Grazia Cherchi for instance wrote
glowing in praise of her) but no interest at all with the
This was followed by the children's book "Cuore
di ciccia" (1992), a tale of a plump boy
that perhaps contained autobiographic aspects, and finally the
best-seller "Va dove ti porta il cuore (Follow Your Heart)"
(1994). The most successful Italian
book of the century with sales of two and a half million copies,
it was adapted for the cinema in 1995 by director
In 1997 she published the novel "Anima
mundi", which however received slating criticism and was unable to
repeat the sales success of its
In the same year she published "Cara
Mathilda", a collection of letters and reflections
that appeared during a year in "Famiglia cristiana";
then "Verso casa (Turning Home: A Memoir)" (1999), a collection of
writings on the theme of spirituality. The
rather unsuccessful "Rispondimi" (2001) failed to
convince the critics and received a far cooler welcome from
the public than previous works; it was followed, in 2002, by
"Più fuoco più vento".
Shy of literary circles,
society life and
television appearances, Susanna Tamaro now lives in the country
near Orvieto, surrounded by her beloved animals.