In second place Donatella Di Pietrantonio with “Borgo Sud” (Einaudi) with 135 votes and in third, Edith Bruck with “Il pane perduto” (La nave di Teseo) with 123 votes
Stadium cheer last night for the hard-fought 75th edition of the Strega prize last night at Nifeo of Villa Giulia. «Due vite» by Emanuele Trevi wins first place with 187 entries and for the first time in the history of the Capitoline prize the publisher Neri Pozza triumphs in the Roman arena. Excited, with a salt and pepper goatee and a crinkled jacket, the writer gulps down the traditional sip of Strega liqueur, “Natra vota?” responds to those who urge him to drink more. Second place was Donatella Di Pietrantonio who obtained 135 votes with «Borgo Sud» (Einaudi). Third came Edith Bruck with “Il pane perduto” (The ship of Theseus) which had 123 preferences and is also the winner of the Young Strega Prize. Fourth was Giulia Caminito with 78 designations for “Lake water is never sweet” (Bompiani). Last among the qualified in the final Andrea Bajani with 66 entries for “The book of houses” (Feltrinelli).
The small publishing house in Vicenza, created in its modern version by Giuseppe Russo, has often been present with its authors in the shortlist of the Strega prize but until now had not managed to cross the finish line. To proclaim the winner and to read the ballot of the votes of the 589 Friends of Sunday (out of 600 eligible) was Sandro Veronesi who last year had taken the prize home for the second time. Veronesi has mistakenly attributed Trevi’s book to Einaudi.
Everything took place like in a wrestling match, with no holds barred, and the experts commented in exhaustion: “I have never been a harder Witch than this!” And the 57-year-old writer who arrived on stage very weak from the presentation tour of Two Lives has no doubts. In 2012 Trevi had lost by two votes in the clash with the Mondadoriano Alessandro Piperno but this time he enjoyed a consistent contribution of preferences coming from Segrate. To favor the Roman narrator was above all the female vote of the Friends on Sunday. To campaign for him was his most fearsome rival, Teresa Ciabatti, who, in the competition with Seemed beauty published by Mondadori, was the favorite of the spring. But unexpectedly she failed to enter the five. The Roman narrator jokingly recommended himself to the new possible ally in the language of Trilussa: «Nun sta ‘a rosica’, mobilize your friends for me». The writer from Orbetello took him at his word and urged the bewitched jurors, on whom he has considerable influence, to vote for the beautiful story that alternates the reflections of the narrator with the life story of two writers who died prematurely, Rocco Carbone and Pia Pear.
Ciabatti’s unexpected debacle has revolutionized all strategies. The Di Pietrantonio, published by Einaudi, which is part of the galaxy of Segrate. The narrator proudly displays the palm of the hand on which she wrote “Ddl Zan”. The story is a touching description of Abruzzo, a land of silence, of saving gestures and words, and depicts the close relationship between two sisters. The book has also obtained approval among Italian and foreign scholars selected by 30 Italian cultural institutes abroad. Part of the Ostrich, however, has instead pleaded the cause of Trevi, hoping that the Roman writer will be the author of the golden eggs of the coming months: in fact, Einaudi Stile libero will come out, with an introduction by Sandro Veronesi, The dogs of nowhere, her story of Gina “leftover municipal kennel”. In favor of Trevi, GeMS by Stefano Mauri, an editorial group of which Ponte alle Grazie belongs, for which Trevi has recently published Sogni e favole. Many preferences then came to La Nave di Teseo by Elisabetta Sgarbi, publisher of Bruck, which had already competed in 1974 and 1993. With Il pane perduto the Hungarian writer involved the jurors in the painful narration of her stay in the Auschwitz camps , Dachau and Bergen-Belsen.
Bompiani has shown a great grit, whose author, the thirty-three-year-old Roman Giulia Caminito, with the story of difficult if not violent lives, is among the five winners of the Campiello Prize and her prices are on the rise in bookstores. An underground pact then linked Mondadori and the Feltrinelli: support has thus come to Bajani, author of the story of a man «whom by convention we will call Me». In the novel with an unusual language “I” tells about friendships, marriage, pain and life in a self-destructive family. Bajani is also among the winners of the Campiello and the editorial whispers indicate him as the winner of the final rush to be held in September in Venice. The Roman arena has not denied its provocative nature by soliciting ire and accusations from those excluded (sometimes unjustly) from the competition.