An Interview with Massimo Cassani
Massimo Cassani (Cittiglio, 1966) studied journalism in Milan, where he currently works with both Gruppo 24 Ore and Il Sole 24 Ore. When he’s not writing articles and managing periodicals, he’s teaching and writing noir. Although he is perhaps best known for his Commissario Sandro Micuzzi series, Cassani has also written a psychological noir entitled Un po' più lontano (A Bit Further) (Laurana, 2010) that deals with the theme of solitude.
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Cassani about his work and his fascinating new novel, Zona franca (Duty-Free Zone) (TEA, 2013), which was just nominated for Italy's prestigious “Premio Giorgio Scerbanenco – La Stampa” for the best Italian noir novel of the year.
Has your work as a journalist influenced your narrative in any way?
You teach narrative intrigue for a writing workshop offered by one of your publishers, Laurana Editore. What would you say is the main principle of this style of writing?
Your latest novel, Zona franca, is rich with foreign languages, Latin, varieties of Italian and dialects. What, in your opinion, do these languages add to narrative intrigue?
In your Author’s Note, you state that “Milanese proverbs are by now almost History,” and yet you employ them in Zona franca. Why?
How did you choose the proverbs? Were you looking for ones that would complement the story? Or were there proverbs that influenced some aspect of the plot?
Dialect and regionalisms are prominent features of the Italian regional mystery. In your opinion, are there any dialects that are particularly suited to the genre?
Readers will be excited to learn that there will be a fourth novel in the Inspector Micuzzi series. Can you tell us the title?
Note: Many thanks to Massimo Cassani for so kindly consenting to this interview. If you'd like to vote for Zona franca to win the Premio Scerbanenco, you can do so here.
Finally, be sure to read my post on Zona franca. If you like a little history with your noir, Cassani is your author.