Syracuse, there are thirty-two authors competing for the Vittorini prize


By John

There are thirty-two authors from twenty publishing houses who will compete for victory at the XXIII edition of the Elio Vittorini national literary prize, which will be held from 4 to 7 September in Syracuse. All the major publishing houses presented titles, from Rizzoli (with Michela Marzano) to Marsilio (with six authors), from Baldini and Castoldi to Einaudi, from Feltrinelli (with Giuseppina Torregrossa) to Guanda.
At the recently concluded Turin International Book Fair, the president of the Vittorini and Quasimodo cultural association, Enzo Papa, and the general secretary of the prize, Aldo Mantineo, presented the Vittorini week which includes a meeting traditionally linked to the relationship between Vittorini and Syracuse and the long-awaited «Vittorini Trial», which this time will probably focus on the relationship between the writer and the communist party and in particular the controversy with Togliatti.
In the space of the Donna Sicilia Region, a name chosen as a tribute to Sicilian writers, whether by birth or adoption, the steps of the Vittorini prize were retraced, from its birth in 1996 and its subsequent restart in 2020. «This prize – said Pope and Mantineo – today more than ever Donna Sicilia is at home in this space: since the restart in the last four seasons, Vittorini has always recorded successes for female authors”. In 2020 it was Marta Barone with «Città sommersa» (Bompiani) who won, in 2021 Antonella Lattanzi with « Questo giorno che loom » (HarperCollins), in 2022 Nadia Terranova with «Trema la notte» (Einaudi) and finally last year Maria Grazia Calandrone with «Where you didn't take me» (Einaudi). Out of 32 authors, 14 are women. The prize is intended for a work of fiction published from April 2023 to March 2024. The judging commission, chaired by professor Antonio Di Grado, will select the three finalist books by June from all the thirty-two admitted works.
During the days of Vittorini Week there will be time for conversation with the three finalist authors and only on the morning of 7 September will the commission meet to choose the winning work. The votes of each member of the commission will be added to those expressed, cumulatively, by the committee made up of readers recommended by the public libraries of Syracuse, by the city's bookshops and by the Dante Alighieri society. Readers will have the opportunity to read the three finalist works and express their opinion on a card justifying their choice. The final evening will take place at the municipal theater of Syracuse. The award is promoted by the Vittorini – Quasimodo cultural association and by the Culture Department of the City of Syracuse in collaboration with the Inda Foundation and with the patronage of the Sicilian Region.
During the meeting at the Turin Book Fair, there was a tribute to Arnaldo Lombardi, a passionate publisher from Syracuse by adoption, who was one of the promoters of the Vittorini Prize. And precisely in the name of Arnaldo Lombardi, in the same award ceremony, an award will also be given to an independent publishing house this year.