Susanna Tamaro (Trieste, 1957) moved to Rome when she was 19 years old to attend the Experimental Center of Cinematography. After graduating with a degree in film direction, she worked on various television documentaries, and as an assistant to the esteemed Italian director Salvatore Samperi. In 1981, during a month-long stay in a small town on the Austrian-Hungarian border, she wrote her first novel Illmitz, which was refused by over 30 publishers. She was not published until 1989, and her debut novel, Head in the Clouds, won her the Elsa Morante Opera Prima Prize. In 1994, she wrote the bestselling novel Follow Your Heart, which became the most commercially successful Italian book of the century. It sold over 16 million copies in 40 countries, and was adapted into film by Cristina Comencini. She currently lives on a self-sufficient farm in the Umbrian countryside, where she produces honey. In addition to writing, gardening, and practicing martial arts, she devotes her time to various humanitarian projects that assist women and children. In 2000, she founded the Tamaro Foundation, which is funded by donations and her books.
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