Photo Credit: Paola Porrini 

Born in Naples in 1950, Erri De Luca has authored novels, theatre plays, translations and poetry.

At the age of 18, he left Naples and embarked on his political commitment to the extra-parliamentary left, which lasted until he was 30. His engagement ended in the autumn of 1980 with his participation in the fight against twenty thousand dismissals from the FIAT Mirafiori plant in Turin.

Between 1976 and 1996, he carried out manual labour. Between 1983 and 1984, he volunteered in Tanzania working on a village water service programme. In the 1990s, he was a truck driver for humanitarian convoys during the war in the territories of former Yugoslavia. In the spring of 1999, he was in Belgrade, this time on his own, during the NATO bombing raids, in order to stand on the target side. His friendship with the poet Izet Sarajlic from Sarajevo, whom he met during the war in Bosnia, and Ante Zemljar, a poet and partisan commander in the anti-Nazi war, dates back to this period.

His first novel, Non ora, non qui (Not now, not here) was published in Italy in 1989. His books have been translated into more than 30 languages. Self-taught in English, French, Swahili, Russian, Yiddish and ancient Hebrew, he translated parts of the Old Testament adopting a literal approach.

As for cinema, he wrote the short film Di là dal vetro (Beyond the Glass), Il Turno di Notte lo Fanno le Stelle (The Night Shift Belongs to the Stars), which was awarded at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival in New York, the musical biography La Musica Provata (Rehearsed Music) and the documentary film Alberi che camminano (Walking Trees). He translated Cocteau's La voix humaine into Neapolitan and scripted it for Sophia Loren.

For the YouTube channel The Decameron 2020, he collected with Paola Porrini Bisson the voices of writers and actors from all over the world during the lockdowns resulting from the outbreak of the pandemic.

In theatre he was on stage with Attraverso (Through), with Mario Brunello, Gabriele Mirabassi, Marco Paolini and Gianmaria Testa; Chisciotte e gli invincibili (Quixote and the invincibles), with Gabriele Mirabassi and Gianmaria Testa; In nome della madre (In the name of the mother), with Sara Cianfriglia and Simone Gandolfo; In viaggio con Aurora (Travelling with Aurora), with Aurora De Luca; Chisciottimisti (Quixoptimist), with Gabriele Mirabassi and Gianmaria Testa; Solo andata (One way) with the Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino.

He is fond of alpinism. The Dolomites are his favourite mountains. He lives in the Roman countryside, where he has planted and keeps planting trees.

As guest of the Giffoni Film Festival 50th edition, Erri De Luca chose to dedicate his Giffoni 50 award to the family of Giulio Regeni, the Italian PhD student from Cambridge University who was kidnapped on 25th January 2016 and found dead on 3rd February near an Egyptian secret service detention centre.