The candidates for the 2021 Strega Prize rise to 45, with the ten names announced on Monday 1 March: to these will be added any proposals submitted by Friday 5 March by the Friends of Sunday. Subsequent deadlines will be March 22 for the dozen and June 10 for the five, with the final grade on July 8.
Meanwhile, here are the new candidates: Michele Ainis with Unrest (The ship of Theseus) candidate by Sabino Cassese (He knows how to narratively tell – we read in the motivations – a story that hides a deeper philosophical narration); Giulio Cavalli with Brand new will (Fandango Libri) presented by Filippo La Porta (Cavalli warns us with an extraordinary exercise of sociological (and anthropological) imagination that beauty is subversive); Teresa Ciabatti with her It looked like beauty (Mondadori) candidate for the two-time Premio Strega Sandro Veronesi (A lesson in narrative literature, for all those who have not yet stopped practicing in the unsuccessful attempt to keep truth and fiction separate in novels).
The list continues with Alessandra Fagioli and hers Checkmate on the island (Robin Editore) proposed by Paolo Ferruzzi (A tight interweaving of unknowns and tensions, atmospheres and personalities, in which the nature of the yellow genre is also reflected); Marco Albino Ferrari with My unknown(Ponte alle Grazie) candidate for the Strega Paolo Cognetti award (A mountain book that reaches the top of the genre by opening up to the vast horizons of literature); Anna Giurickovic Given with The big me (Fazi) proposed by Angelo Guglielmi (A mixture strewn with reason and sentiment, rude stylistic preciousness … Even if written in the first person, objective and a confession).
The new entries are closed by Francesca Mannocchi with White is the color of the damage (Einaudi Stile libero) presented by Renata Colorni (the reasons underline the scientific, political and social relevance of the topic that Mannocchi tackles head on, with specific competence and strenuous courage); Elena Mearini with The footsteps of my mother (Publisher Morellini) nominated by Lia Levi (Mearini’s language made up of small light touches that are not taken for granted, the rapid and meaningful metaphor); Simone Perotti with The good times (Mondadori) proposed by Paolo Mauri (An ambitious novel, which mentions Jack London and is silent on many things, leaving the reader the pleasure of discovering them); Paolo Zardi with Memoirs of a dictator (Perrone) nominated by Paolo Di Paolo (D forms an unsettling meditation on power – the power that is desired and conquered, is sometimes obtained without even using violence).
Teresa Ciabatti talks about her second experience at the Award, already in 2017 in five with The most loved (Mondadori), and for years he has signed the Corriere della Sera and de la Lettura. I am very happy to return to the Witch – explains the writer -, in my opinion this time I will enjoy it more. The first time was something new, an upheaval; now, with another age and experience, a beautiful occasion. Ciabatti feels very honored for the candidacy proposed by Veronesi: in the motivations, the writer dwells on the mechanisms of the book, such as the relationship between truth and fiction. The novel in fact appears as the autobiography of a writer, but not autofiction. Even with a hundred witnesses – explains Ciabatti – it is possible to reconstruct the absolute truth of a fact, let alone with the story of a single person. I am against “truth”, against “autofiction”: what interests me is a lying autobiography, which offers the possibility of existences very far from what we are. And in fact, the novel is not written straight away, but a work on truth and imagination in which complexity is reconstructed in another way, with the intertwining of plans, the change of voices, between free indirect and passage from the self to so on. Speaking of fiction, I am also interested in the concept of manipulation, the idea that memory, remembrance, is basically an element that is always manipulated.
Ciabatti concludes by reflecting on the theme raised in Corriere della Sera by Emanuele Trevi, another candidate for the Witch this year (with Two lives, published by Neri Pozza), on the importance of the prize in giving life to books. The writer notes how recently the element has been accentuated: I agree with Trevi – she concludes -, the Witch can give a book a longer life. And this is important, considering the time a novel takes: it takes me four years to write a book. In recent times, the Witch has done something very beautiful: he emphasizes all the stages, while once he was more concentrated on the five. Now this is no longer the case, there is a form of storytelling, a mechanism that begins much earlier: the curiosity to see new candidates every Monday, the suspense for subsequent proposals. This is also a way to keep the books alive.
Among the candidates for this year’s edition of the award, the seventy-fifth, announced in recent weeks, also Andrea Barzini (for the publisher Solferino), Paolo Di Stefano (Bompiani), Antonella Lattanzi (HarperCollins), Maril Oliva (Solferino), Aurelio Picca (Bompiani).
In the picture: the ten new candidates for the Premio Strega announced on Monday 1st March. From left, top Michele Ainis, Giulio Cavalli, Teresa Ciabatti, Alessandra Fagioli and Marco Albino Ferrari. Below, from left: Anna Giurickovic Dato, Francesca Mannocchi, Elena Mearini, Simone Perotti and Paolo Zardi
March 1, 2021 (change March 2, 2021 | 21:31)