Niccolò Ammaniti is a bestseller in his native Italy, with many of his seven novels being adapted into films in his home country. His new novel Anna is typically forthright, a brutal but moving post-apocalyptic tale set in a world where adults have all been wiped out by a virus, and where children can expect to catch the same disease at puberty.
Anna is a girl in her early teens struggling to survive in the harsh, lawless landscape, and also struggling to look after her little brother Astor. The reader is immersed in the author’s world from page one, as Anna evades a pack of wild dogs tracking her as she looks for food.
Anna is written with such heart and compassion for the plight of the characters that you can’t help but get sucked in
Mixed in with the survival tale are poignant flashbacks to the world before, a world that Anna’s brother doesn’t even remember, as Anna consults a book of ‘important things’ her mother wrote for her before she died.
Anna is hard to read at times, reminiscent of Lord of the Flies or Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, but it is written with such heart and compassion for the plight of the characters that you can’t help but get sucked in and root for them. Compelling and moving writing.
Anna by Niccolò Ammaniti is out now (Canongate, £10.99)