Luigi Malerba is the pen name of Luigi Bonardi (1927–2008). He was born in Berceto, outside of Parma in Emilia Romagna, in 1927. Because of his young age, Malerba avoided serving in the Fascist military during World War II. Instead, after completing secondary school, he went on to study law at the University of Parma, but he soon abandoned that path.
His move to Rome in 1950 brought him into artistic, literary and cinematic circles that would significantly influence his work. After going into advertising and then scriptwriting for films, he began writing fiction in the 1960s.
Malerba went on to become a member of Gruppo ’63 and co-founder of the Cooperativa Scrittori (Writers’ Cooperative). He was also involved in literary journals and consistently contributed to newspapers. Malerba was the author of over thirty novels, short-story collections, criticism and travel books, over a dozen children’s books, and more than ten screenplays.
His work earned the attention of the best critics in Italy and won many prizes: the Mondello in 1987, the Grinzane Cavour Prize in 1989, the Flaiano Prize in 1990, the Viareggio in 1992, the Premio Brancati in 1979, the Premio Feronia in 1992. For Salto mortale, in 1970, he was awarded the first Médici Prix Étranger given by France to a non-French writer.