The Gypsy Spiders and Other Tales of Italian Horror by Nicola Lombardi
Hardcover – Tartarus Press – Nov 2021 – 276 pages
The Gypsy Spiders and Other Tales of Italian Horror is a masterpiece of Italian fiction, a must for all readers of intelligent contemporary horror.
The Gypsy Spiders (I Ragni Zingari) was first published in 2010. In 2013 the collection won the Premio Polidori, one of Italy’s most prestigious horror awards. The title story merges old legends of the supernatural with the emotional devastation of World War Two, and the menacing, quasi-invisible spiders may or may not have been brought into being by the psychological stresses experienced by the family at the heart of the tale.
In ‘Striges’, an anthropologist undertakes a study of witchcraft, and a group of boys look on in horror as she and her son are transformed by the power of her subject. Other stories explore the real, the uncanny and the otherworldly in chilling detail.
Nicola Lombardi’s The Gypsy Spiders and Other Tales of Italian Horror have been brilliantly rendered into English by their translator, J. Weintraub.
Nicola Lombardi was born in Italy in 1965 and grew up in the Emilia-Romagna. He was heavily influenced by the traditional ghost stories told by his grandparents, the writings of Edgar Allan Poe and Lovecraft, and the graphic comics and horror films of the time.
His short stories appeared from the 1980s and are published in several collections, including Ombre (Shadows, 1989). He has edited several anthologies, translated into Italian the works of writers such as Michael Moorcock, and written critical essays on horror literature and cinema. Lombardi’s novelisations of the Dario Argento films Profondo Rosso and Suspiria, are well known. Recently, he has collaborated on stories with Lee Murray and Ramsey Campbell.