Longrigg, Clare

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ADDRESSES: Home—CT. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Hyperion Editorial Department/Talk Miramax Books, 77 West Sixty-sixth St., Eleventh Floor, New York, NY 10023.

CAREER: Independent, London, England, former deputy features editor; freelance writer.


Mafia Women, Chatto & Windus (London, England), 1997, Talk Miramax (New York, NY), 2004.

Also contributor to the London Times and Guardian.

WORK IN PROGRESS: A book on the Mafia in the United States.

SIDELIGHTS: In her first book, Mafia Women, journalist Clare Longrigg interviews and observes several powerful women within three Italian crime organizations: the Sicilian Casa Nostra, the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta, and the Neapolitan Camorra. Although historically the wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, and mistresses of Mafia bosses have been viewed as passive, uninvolved, and incapable of participating in the Mob's illegal activities, Longrigg shows that not only are the women often involved, they are in fact often in charge of many Mafia activities. Among the female crime bosses Longrigg interviews or discusses are murderers, drug dealers, gun runners, money launderers, and extortionists. "Advancing with grim purpose through a cunningly organized succession of short narratives," Philip Horne wrote in the Guardian, Mafia Women not only illustrates the point that women can be just as shrewd and malevolent as men, but also argues that the Italian police and judiciary must recognize this if the Mafia is ever to be defeated.

Several reviewers commented that Longrigg's case was helped by her even tone. "Longrigg tells her story straight, without working us up into a lather of dubious excitement about the people she's describing," explained Guardian contributor Nicholas Lezard. Similarly, Observer critic Jonathan Keates noted "the professionalism with which [Longrigg] marshals her evidence, always sinisterly understated."



Guardian (London, England), June 19, 1997, Philip Horne, review of Mafia Women, pp. 14-15; July 11, 1998, Nicholas Lezard, review of Mafia Women, p. 11.

New Statesman, July 4, 1997, Julie Wheelwright, review of Mafia Women, p. 48.

Observer (London, England), June 22, 1997, Jonathan Keates, review of Mafia Women, p. 15.

Times Literary Supplement, August 20, 1999, Robert Fox, review of Mafia Women.*