Mario Fortunato was born in Cirò, Calabria, Italy. For three decades he worked as a literary critic for the Italian current affairs magazine L’Espresso and continues to work as a columnist for the German daily paper Süddeutsche Zeitung. He has been a member of the Italian Cinema Commission of the Ministry of Culture and the International Advisory Board of the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, is a founder of the Napoli Teatro Festival Italia, and director of the Italian Cultural Institute in London. He is also a former director of the Fondazione Antonio Ratti and former columnist for The Guardian and Le Monde. In addition to writing novels, he has translated into Italian works by Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf, and Henry James. South is his first novel to appear in English.