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Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911–1969)

Author of A Private Venus

Includes the names: Scerbanenco G, G. Scerbanenco, Giogio Scerbanenco, Giorgio Scerbanenco

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Short biography
was born in Kiev in 1911 to a Ukrainian father and an Italian mother, grew up in Rome, and moved to Milan at the age of eighteen. In the 1930s, he worked as a journalist and attempted some early forays into fiction. In 1943, as German forces advanced on the city, Scerbanenco escaped over the Alps to Switzerland, carrelying nothing but a hundred pages of a new novel he was working on. He returned to Milan in 1945 and resumed his prolific career, writing for women’s magazines, including a very popular advice-for-the-lovelorn column, and publishing dozens of novels and short stories. But he is best known for the four books he wrote at the end of his life that make up the Milano Quartet, A Private Venus, Traitors to All, The Boys of the Massacre, and The Milanese Kill on Saturdays. Scerbanenco drew on his experiences as an orderly for the Milan Red Cross in the 1930s to create his protagonist Duca Lamberti, a disbarred doctor; it was during this period that he came to know another, more desperate side of his adopted city. The quartet of novels was immediately hailed as noir classics, and on its publication in 1966, Traitors to All received the most prestigious European crime prize, the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière. The annual prize for the best Italian crime novel, the Premio Scerbanenco, is named after him. He died in 1969 in Milan.
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