Le Ultime dallo Stivale

N.16

June 25th, 2024 – Eleonora Corradi

Despite its prestige, the Premio Strega has not been exempt from criticism and controversy. Some observers have accused the award of being influenced by power dynamics within the publishing world and of favouring large publishing houses to the detriment of independents. However, the organisers have worked to make the selection process more transparent and inclusive by introducing new voting methods and broadening the base of jurors.
Much controversy also stems from the fact that despite the fact that the prize has been active for almost 80 years, very few women have been awarded it. To be precise, only 12 women writers have won the prize: the last female winner was Ada D’Adamo and her “Come d’aria” in 2023.

The future of the Prize.

Looking to the future, the Premio Strega continues to evolve to respond to changes in the publishing and cultural landscape and to meet the desire to expand the scope and influence of the award. With this in mind, in 2014 the Premio Strega Europeo was established, celebrating works by European authors who have won a national prize and been translated into Italian; in the same year the Premio Strega Giovani was set up, awarded by a jury of high school students to one of the twelve nominated books, and in 2016 the Premio Strega Ragazze e Ragazzi, which awards the best children’s fiction book, by age group (+6, +8 and +11).
Finally, in 2023, it was decided to also establish a Premio Strega Poesia, for works of a poetic nature: the five finalist works are presented at the Turin Book Fair, in May, and the winner is announced on October 5.
At a time when reading is often overshadowed by other forms of entertainment, the Premio Strega remains a beacon of literary excellence. It continues to celebrate the beauty and power of fiction, keeping interest in Italian literature alive and helping to discover and valorise new talent.
We can say, in conclusion, that the Premio Strega is much more than just a literary award; it is an institution that reflects and nurtures Italian culture, promoting reading and the love of books through generations of readers and writers.



 

DID YOU KNOW?

An interesting curiosity concerning the Premio Strega is linked to the traditional drink of the same name. The Strega liqueur, produced in Benevento, plays a symbolic role in the prize: during the final evening, a drink made of Strega liqueur is offered to guests and finalists and the winner traditionally uncorks a bottle of liqueur and drinks a glass after the proclamation. This ritual, which combines literature and tradition, symbolises the deep connection between the prize and Italian culture. Moreover, the liqueur, known for its golden yellow colour and distinctive flavour derived from a (secret!) blend of some 70 herbs and spices, has become a symbol of the evening, making the Premio Strega not only a literary event, but also a celebration of Italian flavours and traditions.

 

 

PAROLE DIFFICILI

Narrativa: genere letterario che comprende tutte le opere in prosa che si basano sulle invenzioni della fantasia.

Fiction: a literary genre that includes all prose works that are based on the inventions of the imagination.

-I ragazzi delle scuole medie preferiscono leggere libri di narrativa.
-Middle school children prefer to read fiction books.


Saggistica: complesso di opere letterarie che si basano sull’esposizione commentata di una realtà esistente.

Non-fiction: a collection of literary works that are based on an annotated exposition of an existing reality.

-Non amo leggere libri di saggistica, li trovo noiosi e troppo difficili da capire.
-I do not like reading non-fiction books, I find them boring and too difficult to understand.


Il romanzo: testo narrativo in prosa, che racconta vicende reali o fantastiche.

The novel: a narrative text in prose, which recounts real or fantastic events.

-L’ultimo romanzo di Donatella Di Pietrantonio è uno dei finalisti del premio Strega 2024.
-Donatella Di Pietrantonio’s latest novel is one of the finalists for the Strega 2024 prize.


Il saggio: scritto in cui l’autore analizza criticamente un argomento storico, biografico, filosofico, critico…

The essay: a piece of writing in which the author critically analyses a historical, biographical, philosophical, critical argument…

-A Luigi piacciono i saggi sulla filosofia tedesca.
-Luigi likes essays on German philosophy.


La casa editrice: una società la cui attività principale è la produzione e distribuzione di libri, periodici e testi stampati in genere.

The publishing house: a company whose main activity is the production and distribution of books, periodicals and printed texts in general.

-La casa editrice Bompiani ha pubblicato per la prima volta “Il nome della rosa”.
-The publishing house Bompiani first published “The Name of the Rose”.


La copertina: foglio esterno di carta o cartoncino che copre un libro.

The cover: an outer sheet of paper or cardboard that covers a book.

-Spesso Luisa sceglie i libri in base alla copertina.
-Luisa often chooses books on the basis of their covers.

 

Picture of Eleonora Corradi

Eleonora Corradi

Nata e cresciuta a Milano, ha studiato e lavorato a Milano (dove ha ottenuto il suo PhD), Londra, Grenoble, Berna, Parigi e New York; attualmente si occupa di traduzioni tecniche e di insegnamento dell’italiano come seconda lingua.
È autrice e traduttrice di numerosi articoli scientifici pubblicati su riviste specializzate e ha collaborato alla stesura di testi per La Settimana Enigmistica e per pubblicazioni di scuole internazionali.
Da quasi venti anni insegna italiano agli stranieri e negli ultimi sette ha lavorato presso Collina Italiana. Durante le sue lezioni, ama arricchire la didattica della lingua e della grammatica con la lettura di articoli, libri, fumetti e brevi testi, al fine di far conoscere ai suoi studenti la cultura, le tradizioni e le espressioni tipicamente italiane, utilizzando anche giochi e curiosità sulla lingua, l’origine e gli usi delle parole.

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