Thursday, 12:30 pm EDT May 27, 2021
Online via Zoom
The Center for Fiction is thrilled to host the Bridge Book Award Virtual Ceremony for the prize’s Italian winners. The Bridge Book Award unites the Italian and American communities through an exchange of premier literature. Each year, the award honors a work of fiction and a work of nonfiction, and the winners receive free translation of their books into the English language. The winners of this year’s Bridge Awards are Romana Petri (Fiction) and Massimo Castoldi (Nonfiction). After the presentation of the awards, the audience will hear readings from each of the winners.
The Bridge Award has been created and curated in 2015 by Maria Ida Gaeta, director of the House of Literature and the Festival of International Literature of Rome, with the collaboration of Maria Gliozzi, founder of the American Initiative for Italian Culture Foundation (AIFIC).
Since its first edition, the Prize has benefited by the support of the Embassy of the United States of America of Rome, the Italian Federation of Writers (Federazione Unitaria Italiana Scrittori FUIS), the American Academy in Rome, the Italian Consulate in NY, the Italian Cultural Institute in NY, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation and other Italian and American cultural institutions and universities. For several editions the Prize has been supported also by the Centro per il Libro e La Lettura of the Ministry for Cultural Heritage in Rome (CEPELL) and the Center for Italian Modern Art (CIMA) in New York. Starting from 2019 the prestigious institution Center For Fiction in New York has taken over the role of Managing Body of the Award.
Romana Petri lives in Rome. She earned numerous awards such as the Mondello Prize, the Rapallo Carige, the Grinzane Cavour and the Bottari Lattes. She has been finalist in the Strega Prize twice. Translator, publisher and literary critic, Romana Petri collaborates with several Italian newspapers such as La Stampa, il Venerdi di Repubblica, Corriere della Sera, and Il Messaggero. Her books have been published in England, France, the United States, Spain, Serbia, the Netherlands, Germany and Portugal. Among her works: Wherever I am (BEAT, 2012), Alle Case Venie (BEAT, 2017), Le Serenate del Ciclone (Neri Pozza, 2015), Il mio cane del Klondike (Neri Pozza, 2017) and the last novel Figlio del lupo published by Mondadori in 2020. The book Pranzi di famiglia (Neri Pozza, 2018) received The Bridge Book Award for the Fiction category in 2019.
Philologist and literary critic, Massimo Castoldi is the Director of the Memory of the Deportation Foundation in Milan. In addition to numerous publications in the literary and linguistic fields, he has dealt with the History of the Resistance, the Italian culture during Fascism, censorship and the themes on historical memory. He has curated M. Chiorri Principato’s volume Storia di un comitato. Il Comitato Onoranze Caduti per la Libertà. Milano 1945-1956 (FrancoAngeli, 2014) and 1943 -1945: I bravi e i cattivi. Italiani e tedeschi tra memoria, responsabilità e stereotipi (Donzelli, 2016). Castoldi’s last book Insegnare libertà. Storie di maestri antifascisti (Donzelli, 2018) is the winner of the Book Award The Bridge 2019 for Non Fiction.
The Bridge Book Award Mission
The Bridge Book Award is a project that unites the Italian and American cultures, and aims to strengthen mutual understanding through Literature. Its purpose is to promote knowledge of the best and most recent publications in fiction and nonfiction of the two countries. The prize includes two components, one Italian and one American with a mirror structure. Selected in two rounds of voting, the Italian books in competition are judged by two American juries (one for the fiction category and one for the non fiction). Symmetrically, the American books in competition are judged by two Italian juries. This structure ensures a better understanding of each other’s cultures, which is one of the objectives of this literary project. The selection of candidates for all the books, as well as the selection of the members of the jury, is made by the Executive Committee of the Italian and American Prize composed by one representative of all the institutions that curate and promote it. The books in competition, ten for each country, i.e., five for fiction and five for non-fiction, must have been published in their respective countries during the year preceding the award.
The Award is conferred annually and consists of a sum to cover the translation costs into the opposite language of the four winning books. It also includes a cash award for the 4 winning authors. In occasion of the award ceremonies, the two American winners travel to Rome and the two Italian winners travel to NYC.
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