Strega Prize 2024, we start with 10 proposals and a “case”: no to Fulvio Abbate’s self-nomination

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By John

The curtain rises on the 2024 Strega Prize with the first ten proposals from the Amici della Domenica which include two Einaudi titles “Things that are not told” Of Antonella Lattanzipresented by Valeria Parrella, and “The Lovers” by Peppe Fiorepresented by Marco Cassini. There are also two Bompiani titles: “Yara. The true crime” (Bompiani) by Giuseppe Gennaproposed by Ferruccio Parazzoli And “The eternal girl” (Bompiani) by Andrea Pivaproposed by Nicola Lagioia.

But the start of the new edition of the Award, which also inaugurates the new website, must already deal with Fulvio Abbate’s provocative self-candidacy with “Lo stemma” (The ship of Theseus) and with the reaction of the writer, among other things Amico della Domenica, who saw it rejected by the Management Committee.

«Article 1 of the Participation Regulations states that ‘Each Amico della Domenica will be able to indicate, with the author’s consent, a work that he considers worthy of participating in the prize. Each report must be accompanied by a brief critical opinion”, the Committee points out to explain the ineligibility of the work. But Abbate doesn’t agree and explains to ANSA that his self-proposal “has an absolutely political value compared to the friendly dimension that has always determined the Strega Prize”. «I consider the decision of the Management Committee to be purely arbitrary – he adds -. In its time Maria Bellonci she had nominated herself with private Rinascimento”.

The answer is ready Stefano Petrocchi, director of the Bellonci Foundation, who denies it: «it falls within the realm of the fantastic that Maria Bellonci nominated herself in 1986 with Private Rinascimento, while it is a fact that the novel was presented by Giovanni Macchia and Geno Pampaloni». The author of “The coat of arms” also explains that he was «Friend of Domenica because I enjoyed the human esteem of Annamaria Rimoaldi» and here too comes the reply from the director of the Foundation. «This may certainly be a fact, but it only shows how sometimes even great personalities can make mistakes. In reality I would have no difficulty in finding someone who would propose me, but personally I won’t look for any name”, says the writer who has no intention of giving up.

«Tomorrow or the day after tomorrow I reserve the right to continue my battle. I am full of imagination. I’ll figure something out,” she announces.

In the first dozen proposals which will be updated every week, until February 29th, on the Prize’s social channels, there are also authors published by medium, small and independent publishers such as Adrián N. Well done to Adelaida (Nutritions), proposed by Romana Petri; Antonella Di Fabio with The Murder of Valle Giulia (Frilli), proposed by Massimiliano Minerva; Angela Giannitrapani with ‘Nella casa ancantò (Progedit), proposed by Raffaele Nigro. It’s still Eduardo Savarese with ‘The Mothers of Wisdom (Wojtek), proposed by Riccardo Cavallero; Gennaro Serio with ‘Ludmilla and the corvò (L’orma)proposed by Giuseppe Lupo and Mirko Zilahy with ‘Our Lady of the Clouds (HarperCollins), proposed by Roberto Ippolito.

The 2024 edition will have a new author’s Witch illustrated by Andrea Tarella, with a head immersed in a nocturnal dream from which ideas, stories and characters germinate. For the first time the dozen of the Strega Fiction Prize will be announced on 4 April together with the dozen of the Strega Poetry Prize and the five candidates of the European Strega Prize. The five of the Strega Narrativa will be chosen on June 5th.