Amara Lakhous was born in Algiers. He has a degree in philosophy from the University of Algiers and another in cultural anthropology from the University la Sapienza, Rome. His first novel, Le cimici e il pirata (Bedbugs and the Pirate), was published in 1999. Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio (Europa Editions), winner of Italy’s prestigious Flaiano prize, is his second novel, which blends social satire and murder mystery. A small culturally mixed community living in an apartment building in the center of Rome is thrown into disarray when one of the neighbors is murdered. An investigation ensues and as each of the victim’s neighbors is questioned, the reader is offered an all-access pass into the most colorful neighborhood in contemporary Rome.