Antonio Scurati: M. Son of the 20th

Strega Prize 2019
For more than 50 weeks in the Italian bestseller list.
More than 500.000 copies sold. Currently being translated in 41 countries.

Published in Italy and abroad with unprecedented critical acclaim.

Benito Mussolini

There are many biographies of Benito Mussolini,journalist and demagogue who invented Fascism and was in turn imitated by fellow dictators across Europe and around the world. But before Antonio Scurati no one has dared to write a work of fiction with Mussolini as protagonist: because his proteiform personality is too complex to make sense of, or because it seemed dangerous to get too close to such a dark figure, responsible for some of the greatest evils of the past century? Scurati has approached Mussolini with both fascination and horror, deeply convinced that the man is an ineradicable part of our common European history and that the conditions that made his ascent possible are still present in our societies.

1919 – 1925

Drawing on a vast literature of books, journals, newspapers, and documents of all sorts, Scurati has written an impressive novel, both historically accurate and gripping as few works of pure fiction could be. M. Son of the 20th Century covers the decisive years of Mussolini’s ascent to power, from 1919 when he created his political movement from the desperate ex-soldiers of the First World War to 1924 when he managed to become the absolute master of Italian politics and one of the most influential and admired world-leaders.

Film/TV Rights sold to Wildside/Fremantle.

English excerpt available.


M. L’enfant du siècle provides a brilliant illustration of the power of literature, with its ability to articulate historical time and human time.” – Le Monde des livres

His book aims to capture the fascination Mussolini exerted over Italians without falling prey to it. An anti-fascist history lesson disguised as a novel” – The New York Times

“A masterful historical account, an extraordinary and stimulating book” – Le Figaro

800 powerful pages signed Antonio Scurati, borne by a breath, an ardour, an energy, and a clarity that never fade” – Le Point

An indisputable literary achievement” – El Paìs, Libro de la Semana de Babelia

It is surprisingly modern: a must read” – Die Zeit

Antonio Scurati

Antonio Scurati is Professor of Comparative Literatures at IULM in Milan, Professor of Creative Writing, and columnist of “La Stampa”. His books have been translated into several languages and won many prizes. Among his works: Il rumore sordo della battagliaUna storia romanticaIl bambino che sognava la fine del mondoIl padre infedeleIl tempo migliore della nostra vitaM. Il figlio del secoloM. L’uomo della Provvidenza.

Other translations

Il tempo migliore della nostra vita (Bompiani 2015): Croato (Fraktura), Giapponese (Seidosha) // Il padre infedele (Bompiani 2013): Spagnolo (Libros del Asteroide), Croato (Fraktura), Sloveno (Mladinska Knjiga Zalozba D.D.) // Il bambino che sognava la fine del mondo (Bompiani, 2009): Portoghese (Euthalia-Novadelphi), Tedesco (Rowohlt), Serbo (Clio) // Il sopravvissuto (Bompiani, 2005): Coreano (Nangiyala) // Il rumore sordo della battaglia (Mondadori, 2003/Bompiani 2006): Spagnolo (Alianza)


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