Strega prize 2018 – goes to a woman, for the first time in 15 years

In July the most prestigious of the Italian literary prizes was won by Helena Janeczek, for her work La ragazza con la Leica (C213.c.6240). Although many female authors have been nominated for the prize in the past, there has not been a female winner since Melania Mazzucco in 2003. La ragazza con la Leica is about Gerda Taro, a war photographer who died during the Spanish Civil war, and it had already won the Bagutta prize earlier this year.

This year women were well represented on the long list for the Strega and also on the short list. Three of the five Strega finalists – known as “la cinquina” – were women: Helena Janeczek, Sandra Petrignani for her biography of Natalia Ginzburg, La Corsara (C213.c.8483) and Lia Levi for her work Questa sera è già domani (C205.d.6466). The two men on the shortlist were Marco Balzano for Resto qui (C213.c.8933) and Carlo D’Amicis for his work Il gioco (on order).

Bettina Rex

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