With the awarding of the Bagutta prize for 2020 at the end of January, I was reminded of our annual focus on the major literary prizes of Italy. The Bagutta prize this year went to Enrico Deaglio for his work on the bombing in Piazza Fontana, Milan, in 1969. La Bomba : cinquant’anni di Piazza Fontana, published by Feltrinelli, was written to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the terrorist attack. It is now in the catalogue and stands at C215.c.8782.
Since our post last April, the other major Italian literary prizes have been awarded as follows: Continue reading
We highlighted last autumn the winner of the prestigious Strega prize, one of the most important literary prizes awarded in Italy. It was won for the first time in 15 years by a woman – Helena Janeczek for her novel La ragazza con la Laica (C213.c.6240).
The other four major literary prizes that we focus on were awarded in the last 12 months as follows: Continue reading
The UL’s Tall Tales exhibition has opened up to public view some of the treasures held in the seventeen floors of the library tower. One of the cases, to which I contributed, concentrates on literary prizewinners, a topic with which regular readers of this blog will be familiar. When selecting items to go on display, the challenge was to pick half a dozen titles that could somehow reflect the astonishing diversity of material to be found in the tower collections: the serious and the intellectual sit alongside works that are altogether less highbrow. Similarly, the range of literary prizes that are out there to be won is mind-boggling: could I include the Romantic Novelists’ Association Awards? (There are eight categories each year.) The Waverton Good Read Award, handed out annually by the residents of Waverton (a village in Cheshire) to the best debut novel published in the past twelve months? (It was set up in 2003, inspired by Le Prix de la Cadière, a similar prize given out by the Provençal town of La Cadière D’Azur.) The Bad Sex in Fiction Award? (It goes to some unlikely recipients: in 2016, it was awarded to the Italian novelist Erri De Luca, for his novel The Day Before Happiness (Il giorno prima della felicità). A less illustrious prize, perhaps, than the others he has collected during his career, which include the Prix Fémina Étranger.) Continue reading
By Marcello Casal via Wikimedia Commons
Fred Vargas (pseudonym of Frédérique Audoin-Rouzeau) has recently been awarded the Princess of Asturias award in its literary category. Cambridge Professor of Classics, Mary Beard, received the corresponding award for Social sciences in 2016.
Although Fred Vargas is a historian and archaeologist, she is also known for being a successful crime novel writer. In fact, she started writing thrillers for fun, as an escape from her academic occupation. Her novelist career began with the publication of Les jeux de l’amour et de la mort (C205.d.7969) which won the Festival de Cognac novel prize. Continue reading
The French collections at Cambridge University Library aim to capture a broad range of Francophone literature. Though quite a few Francophone writers have contracts with French publishing houses, we also buy publications from North Africa, the Caribbean, and Québec (readers’ recommendations for Cambridge University library, especially for Francophone material, are always welcome).