This year the shortlist of the Strega finalists is made up of seven writers. The long-announced winner of this 76th edition of the Capitoline recognition is “Spatriate”(Einaudi) by Mario Desiati. A “novel about irregular people who choose not to adapt”: this is how its author defines it. The work narrates the evocative vicissitudes of a “liquid” generation that has no precise orientations or vocations, neither working nor sexual nor even sentimental. As stated by the Leopardian exergue chosen by Desiati: “Never happy, never in my center”. Set between Puglia, Rome and Berlin, the book uses a splendid mix of Italian, Salento dialect and German.
Claudio Piersanti, a philosopher who lives between Rome and the Marches, is competing with the novel “That damned Vronsky“(Rizzoli). The book delves into the drama of jealousy that is projected onto the past and is retroactive. The protagonist abandoned by his partner retraces the stages of their relationship starting from the reading of Tolstoy’s masterpiece “Anna Karenina“In a kind of sentimental thriller.
After Helena Janeczek’s 2018 sorcery triumph, the GeMS group returned to the Witch with the cursed “Stray”(Bollati Boringhieri) by Marco Almerighi. Pisan transplanted to Milan, translator, editorial consultant and great storyteller, Almerighi cultivates the noblest tradition of the Tuscan language. The writers who embody his tutelary deities range from Collodi to Pratolini, Palazzeschi, Pardini and Nesi.
Veronica Raimo, screenwriter as well as novelist, competes with “Nothing true“(Einaudi). You have already won the Strega- youth award. He uses the jargon of Roman boys and with humor and irony describes the fatigue of living in a family of deranged people. He suffers from the rivalry with his educated and intelligent brother and grapples with the desperation of those who are besieged by an obsessive mother and a hypochondriac father. She constantly fights with constipation, the psychosomatic affection from which her grandfather’s love heals her.
Mondadori this year shared his votes with Rizzoli, a sister publisher in the same group. It positioned itself in the “week” with the beautiful and moving story of the Bosnian exiles by Alessandra Carati, “And then we’ll be safe“Published in Segrate. It is the saga of Aida, her brother and her parents forced to flee their country devastated by the war in 1992. But it is also the story of the difficult integration in Italy. Families hosting Bosnians are welcoming only in appearance and the existence of those seeking solidarity and protection is hard and full of unexpected obstacles.
After more than 30 years of absence, the Adelphi reappeared: he had been missing since 1989, when Roberto Calasso had competed with “The wedding of Cadmus and Harmony”, Losing by three votes against Giuseppe Pontiggia. Now the publishing house has taken the field with “Nova”By Fabio Bacà scholar of Taoism. Bacà uses the weapon of sarcasm and humor to describe the delirium of a hallucinated neurosurgeon and his vegan wife.
Veronica Galletta with “Nina on the embankment”(Minimum fax) experimented with an absolutely original theme. The last few generations of writers rarely talk about work, the difficulties of surviving, the inability to pay a bill or find a home. But the narration of daily miseries, of the factory and of occupation, on the other hand, has an important place in Italian literature, from Primo Levi to Paolo Volponi. And the Galletta follows in their footsteps.
A Witch who with the “week” of the finalists will not let us miss in the final on 7 July palpitations and surprises.