here are the books in the competition


The dozen of the LXXV edition of the Strega Prize. These are the books competing for inclusion in the five that will be voted on June 10: Andrea Bajani with “The book of houses” (Feltrinelli), proposed by Concita De Gregorio; Edith Bruck with “Il pane perduto” (The ship of Theseus), proposed by Furio Colombo; Maria Grazia Calandrone with “Shine like life” (Ponte alle Grazie), proposed by Franco Buffoni; Giulia Caminito with “The water of the lake is never sweet” (Bompiani), proposed by Giuseppe Montesano; Teresa Ciabatti with “It seemed beauty” (Mondadori), proposed by Sandro Veronesi; Donatella Di Pietrantonio with “Borgo Sud (Einaudi), proposed by Nadia Fusini; Lisa Ginzburg with” Cara pace “(Ponte alle Grazie), proposed by Nadia Terranova; Giulio Mozzi with” The repetitions (Marsilio), proposed by Pietro Gibellini; Daniele Petruccioli with “La casa delle mothers” (TerraRossa), proposed by Elena Stancanelli; Emanuele Trevi with “Two Lives” (Neri Pozza), proposed by Francesco Piccolo; Alice Urciuolo with “Adoration” (66thand2nd), proposed by Daniele Mencarelli; Roberto Venturini with “The year that was Christmas twice in Rome” (Sem), proposed by Maria Pia Ammirati.

The Award’s Steering Committee, composed of Pietro Abate, Valeria Della Valle, Giuseppe D’Avino, Ernesto Ferrero, Alberto Foschini, Paolo Giordano, selected the twelve candidates among the sixty-two fiction titles proposed this year by the Friends of Sunday. Helena Janeczek, Melania G. Mazzucco, Gabriele Pedullà, Stefano Petrocchi, Marino Sinibaldi and Giovanni Solimine.

Thus Melania G. Mazzucco, president of the Steering Committee, describes the candidate books: “Among the sixty-two titles proposed we noted the recurrence of dystopia and autobiography, and a general distrust in the novel of intertwining and genre. The authors and authors. chosen represent several generations, with an age range of sixty-three years. The majority, however, were born in the sixties, seventies and eighties. The titles selected in 2021 mostly tell stories related to the personal experience of the author or ‘author, to his private and neighboring world (friends, relatives, acquaintances), and to the local, provincial, sometimes neighborhood geography. In some cases this experience crosses the great story, more often it is a matter of intimate micro-stories “.

“They are stories of families, dominated by the figures of mothers – often anaffective, furiously antagonistic – and sisters, while fathers are almost absent, unwelcome, superfluous or silenced. They are stories of girls without childhood, lonely or marginalized adolescents – explains Mazzucco – The feeling of social exclusion and resentment sets some of these books on fire. They are stories of testimony, of lived or near life. They are domestic stories, in which the house – inhabited, possessed, lost, occupied, haunted by objects – becomes a character. In the year of confinement in the home or in the metaphorical walls of our national borders, it is certainly not a coincidence “.

The candidate books will be read and voted by a jury made up of 660 entitled candidates. To the votes of the Friends of Sunday are added those expressed by scholars, translators and enthusiasts of our language and literature selected by the Italian cultural institutes abroad, strong readers chosen by independent libraries distributed throughout Italy, collective votes expressed by schools, universities and reading groups, including the circles set up by the Libraries of Rome.

In June, the candidates and finalists at the LXXV edition of the Strega Prize will be guests of festivals and cultural events throughout Italy. The first vote, which will select the five finalists, will be held on Thursday 10 June, while the election of the winner will take place on Thursday 8 July. All events will be held in compliance with the anti-Covid-19 protocols provided for by the regulations in force, the organizers assure.

The image accompanying the LXXV edition of the Premio Strega was created by Lorenzo Mattotti, one of the most internationally appreciated Italian designers. “A wild dance – describes the author – a ritual of good wishes, a modern sabbath made by contemporary Witches who fight for their rights and their condition. A dynamic and colorful poster that wants to celebrate with a breath of fresh air 75 years of the Strega Award “.

The competing books will also compete in the VIII edition of the Strega Giovani Prize and will be read and voted by a jury made up of 600 students from upper secondary schools in Italy and abroad. The Steering Committee of the Prize has considered that, for the topics covered, the novel “Le repizioni” by Giulio Mozzi (Marsilio) is suitable only for an adult audience, therefore it will not compete for the Strega Giovani Prize.

The Strega Award is promoted by the Maria and Goffredo Bellonci Foundation and Liquore Strega with the contribution of the Rome Chamber of Commerce and in collaboration with Bper Banca and, technical sponsor.


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