Orbetello Book Prize | Literature

The Department of Culture and Tourism of the Municipality of Orbetello (Gr) announces the first edition of the OBP – Orbetello Book Prize – Maremma Toscana Coast: an international literary award dedicated to quality fiction, an initiative that in addition to improving books and reading, aims to improve territory: that’s why Orbetello gives its name to the award. The aim is, in fact, to promote Orbetello and its community as a point of reference for the Maremma and to make it an international showcase in the cultural and literary field as well. Organized by the Zigzag Communications Agency, the first competitive edition of the award will be held from Thursday, June 30, to Saturday, July 2, 2022, in the enclosed gardens of Orbetello (free admission subject to availability), a location already granted by the Municipality of Orbetello an important loan for the architectural restoration, with the aim of transforming this historic garden into a “Reading Park”.

Two prizes were awarded:
an award for an Italian fiction writer who has at least one of his books already translated and published abroad, and who participates with a book published in Italy in the 2020/21 season.
– A ‘Lifetime Achievement Tribute’ award for a foreign fiction writer.

The three finalist works will be presented in the first two days of the event, Thursday 30 June and Friday 1 July 2022. The finalist authors will be invited and hosted in Orbetello throughout the review and will present the work selected by the jury to the public. . Elisabetta Ferracini, actress, TV and radio host, presents this first edition. The presentations of the finalist books will be enriched with readings of selected passages entrusted to actors Irene Lizzulli and Stefano Goracci.

The three finalists
Roberto Camurri, Mother’s nameNNE
Francesca Marciano, Animal spiritMondadori
Antonio Pascale, fig leaf, Einaudi

Special mention by the jury to Maddalena Fingerle for her novel Native languageItalo Svevo editions;

The Orbetello Book Prize is not just Italian literature. Its specificity and its strength also lies in the desire to improve foreign literature in Italy, which every year wants to reward a foreign writer or author whose literary production is much loved and much appreciated in Italy by readers. Each year, the jury’s choices will bring to light different motivations that will represent the characteristics of the assigned author or author.

First tribute to David Leavitt
David Leavitt was born in Pittsburgh in 1961, but grew up in California. He achieved success at the age of 23 when he wrote Family Ball, a collection of short stories. Today, his works, entrusted to the translator Fabio Cremonesi, in Italy are published by SEM, which edited the new translation of Ballo di Famiglia (2021). Professor of English at the University of Florida, Leavitt also heads the literary magazine “Subtropics”. He has fifteen titles in his honor, including novels and short story collections and among his various novels we remember: The Indian mathematician; Just love; A place I have never been; While England sleeps; The decor. Known by most for addressing the homosexual problem in his stories and for telling a bygone era, Leavitt seems to want to remind his readers, through his pages, that the secret behind relationships is precisely his most obvious wealth. Fernanda Pivano rightly said that David Leavitt must be considered a classic like Tennessee Williams.

David Leavitt seen by translator Fabio Cremonesi. “I’m on my third Leavitt. I started by translating today’s Leavitt, the one from Il decoro, which tells (almost exclusively in the form of a dialogue with a salty and sophisticated tone) an event – the election of Trump as President of the United States – that affects a group of liberal intellectuals in Manhattan as a first political trauma, then generationally and even personally, from there I worked back in time on his dazzling literary debut, the short story collection Family Ball, and then on his second work, the novel The Lost Language of Cranes, two works that for my generation have represented (and judging by the continuous reprints of the over 35 years that separate us from their first Italian editions, continue to represent also for subsequent generations) a watershed in certain matters, especially those relates to being a child of divorced parents and discovering oneself homosexual, situations that were hitherto considered in Italy as a guarantee of absolute, eternal misfortune. does the post-adolescent of that time agree with today’s mature professor? An extremely refined writing, with a syntactic and lexical breath of a British classic; a fantastic authorship for a 23-year-old boy, who in today’s Leavitt has also been given an irony and lightness that is unique in the current American panorama. Needless to say, how gratifying it is for a translator to work with such intense and well-written texts, and at the same time indifferent to an obsession with the “personal voice” that conditions far too many contemporary writers.

President of the Award, Paolo Di Paolo; Juries: Annalena Benini; Roberta Colombo; Gaia Manzini; Eugenio Murrali.

The strong reading group consists of four people identified among the residents of Orbetello. The members are: Martina Aldi; Silva Gentilini; Giorgio Razzoli; Maurizio Vichi.

The public voting will take place through a numbered and named form: the voting public must state name, surname, e-mail address or telephone. The covers of the three finalist books will be included in the voting form. The voting public must choose the book they prefer, only one, by crossing the cover. The vote will have the value of 1 point. The ballot papers presented at the event’s press conference will be available at partner bookstores and all other local entities that will collaborate on the initiative (eg Library, Pro Loco, other associations, etc.). Voting forms must be returned by the public duly completed to a desk that will be set up at the Giardini Chiusi venue during the first two evenings of the event and in any case no later than 22.00 on 1 July 2022, at the end of the presentation of the 3 finalist books. Forms that have not been completed in accordance with the stated instructions and / or are considered invalid will not be counted in connection with the award of the prize. The jury’s vote is added to the popular vote. Each member of the jury (selection group and group of strong readers, nine members in total) will only be able to express one preference on the three finalist works. The jury’s vote will be worth 5 points; the chairman’s vote will be worth 10 points. Preference will be expressed after the announcement of the three finalist works. The votes will be recorded in a special document and added to the popular vote. The voting process will take place on Saturday, July 2, starting at 10.00, in the municipality of Orbetello in the presence of a notary.

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