Erica Berla



Position: Co-Founder and Literary Agent

Website: Berla & Griffini Rights Agency

Location: Milan, Italy

Main areas of interest:

  • Fiction (literary and commercial)
  • Non-fiction

Erica Berla began her career in publishing as Foreign Fiction Acquisition Editor for Edizioni Frassinellli/Sperling & Kupfer Editore in Milan, and after five years moved to Edizioni Piemme. In both houses she acquired and looked after French, Spanish and English-language works of fiction. Writers she worked with include Toni Morrison, Alistair Macleod, Barbara Kingsolver, and Australian authors such as David Malouf, Peter Carey and Thomas Keneally. She then joined Agenzia Letteraria Internazionale as an agent, representing English-language publishers and agencies and selling translation rights for authors such as Dino Buzzati, Andrea Camilleri and Gianrico Carofiglio.

In 2007, with Barbara Griffini, she co-founded the literary agency Berla & Griffini Rights Agency, which has since become one of the largest international agencies in Italy. It represents the majority of German and a significant number of English-language publishers and agencies, handling both adult and children’s titles, fiction and non-fiction. Erica works primarily on the English-language titles and has the privilege of looking after bestselling established authors as well as the challenge of finding homes for the works of debut writers in the Italian market.

While her original taste lies in literary fiction, she sells the rights to a wide range of genres including commercial fiction and all types of non-fiction. She has sold rights to the following  recently published works: The Confession by Jessie Burton, Middle England by Jonathan Coe, the Man Booker Prize-winning Milkman by Anna Burns, Bruce Springsteen’ memoir Born to Run, artist Keri Smith’s notebooks, Living with the Gods by British art historian Neil MacGregor, Stuff Matters by British materials scientist  Mark Miodwonick, and the provocative How to Lose a Country: The 7 Steps from Democracy to Dictatorship by Turkish journalist Ece Temelkuran, among others.

Her Australian clients include Text Publishing and Affirm Press (on behalf of Linda Kaplan), and Melanie Ostell Literary. She has sold the rights to titles by the following Australian authors in Italy: Thomas Keneally, Geraldine Brooks, Fiona McFarlane, Elizabeth Harrower, Graeme Simsion, Toni Jordan, Christian White, Stuart Kells, Cece Adams, Madeleine St John, Pip Williams, and Amy Witting.

Which books do you wish you had represented on their way to being published?

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngosi Adichie; Life After Life by Kate Atkinson; Ordesa by Manuel Vilas.

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