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2015 Program

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IX Edition  Florence, 10-12 June 2015


Wednesday 10 June


12.00  Balconata di Palazzo Strozzi

Premio Gregor von Rezzori Young Readers

Prize-giving for the five best reviews

With the jury Alba Donati, Chiara Dino, Fulvio Paloscia, Carlo Pestelli, Vanni Santoni and Leonardo Sacchetti.

Presenting the prize, the authors Dasa Drndic, Andrew Miller, Guadalupe Nettel, Vladimir Sorokin and Tommy Wieringa

Address by the Vice-mayor of Florence, Cristina Giachi

The shortlisted books of the Premio von Rezzori reviewed by one hundred students from high schools in Florence. The five best reviews will win a voucher/books donated by the bookshop Giunti al Punto.


15.30 Balconata di Palazzo Strozzi

Vladimir Sorokin in conversation with Elif Batuman

Moderated by Sergio Givone

Has Ivan the Terrible returned? Shortlisted for Day of the Oprichnik (La giornata di un Opričnik, Atmosphere Libri, translation by Denise Silvestri), Sorokin discusses the question with a writer and a philosopher, both experts in Russian literature.


16.30 Balconata di Palazzo Strozzi

Guadalupe Nettel in conversation with Valeria Parrella

Moderated by Andrea Bajani and Alberto Manguel 

The construction of identity, through irony and contrast, connects two contemporary writers: Nettel, shortlisted for The Body Where I Was Born (Il corpo in cui sono nata, translation by Federica Niola) and Parrella, with Troppa importanza all’amore, both published by Einaudi.


18.00  Cenacolo di Santa Croce

The Clothing of Books

Lectio magistralis by Jhumpa Lahiri

Introduced by Andrea Bajani

Free entry (seats limited)

Jhumpa Lahiri (winner of the Pulitzer prize and the Premio Gregor von Rezzori) is passionate about Italy and its language; she has written her latest book, In altre Parole (Guanda), in Italian. 


21.00  Balconata di Palazzo Strozzi

Musical Writers

Michael Cunningham in conversation with Francesco Bianconi and Simone Lenzi  

Chaired by Fulvio Paloscia

An exclusive hit parade: Pulitzer prize-winner Michael Cunningham meets the two most original voices of Italian indie rock, Francesco Bianconi, voice of Baustelle, and Simone Lenzi, frontman of Virginiana Miller, to talk about music and books. 

Thursday 11 June


11.00 Balconata di Palazzo Strozzi

Tommy Wieringa in conversation with Andrea Bajani

Moderated by Wlodek Goldkorn

The journey of those adrift in the 21st century never ends: Wieringa, shortlisted for These are the Names (Questi sono i nomi, Iperborea, translation by Claudia Cozzi and Claudia di Palermo) discuss the subject with Bajani, author of Ogni promessa (Einaudi).


12.00 Balconata di Palazzo Strozzi

Andrew Miller in conversation with Alessandro Mari

Moderated by Leonetta Bentivoglio

The historical novel connects Miller, author of Pure (Pura, Bompiani, translation by Sergio Claudio Perroni) and Alessandro Mari, author of Troppo umana speranza (Feltrinelli). This is the enlightened 18th century seen from the bottom, from the depths of a cemetery that must be cleared.


15.00 Balconata di Palazzo Strozzi

Portraits of Americans

with Livia Manera Sambuy and Jhumpa Lahiri

Interviewed by Vanni Santoni

Extraordinary portraits from Non scrivere di me (Feltrinelli), drawn by the pen of a writer: Manera describes the terrified Forster Wallace, the shameless Richard Ford, the shrewd Mavis Gallant and a surprisingly tender Philip Roth.


16.00 Balconata di Palazzo Strozzi


Readings with Elif Batuman, Michael Cunningham, Andrew Sean Greer, Miguel Syjuco, Alessandro Mari, Maaza Mengiste, Tommaso Pincio, Carmen Pellegrino, Vanni Santoni, Antonio Scurati.

In collaboration with @stoleggendo, writers read the openings of their latest novels, to be tweeted and retweeted ad infinitum.


17.30 Balconata di Palazzo Strozzi

Dasa Drndic in conversation with Antonio Scurati.

Interviewed by Susanna Nirenstein and Edmund White

Nazism is sweeping through Trieste and Gorizia, and many people, the bystanders, are looking on. But not Leone Ginzburg, who stands against it. From Trieste (translation by Ljiljana Avirovic ) by the shortlisted Drndic to Il tempo migliore della nostra vita by Scurati (both published by Bompiani).


19.00 Cinema Odeon Firenze Piazza Strozzi

EROS: Casanova & Co.

Recital with Alba Rohrwacher and Filippo Timi

Texts chosen by Giorgio Ficara

With a contribution from Andrew Miller

Directed by Saverio Costanzo

Entry: full € 10 discount € 8 (pre-order at Cinema Teatro Odeon)

Two great actors read unedited passages on the theme of Eros: from Casanova to Michel Houellebecq, from Roland Barthes to Anaïs Nin. Preview clip from the film Casanova Variations by Michael Sturminger  with John Malkovich and Fanny Ardent.



21.30 Balconata di Palazzo Strozzi

Musical reading by Francesco Bianconi

With Ettore Bianconi (electronic) and Sebastiano de Gennaro (vibraphone)

Interviewed by Andrea Bajani

The leader of Baustelle talks about his new book La resurrezione della carne (Mondadori): a jam session invaded by zombies.

Friday 12 June


11.00 Balconata di Palazzo Strozzi

Travelling Writers

with Giorgio Ficara, Alberto Manguel, Massimo Onofri and Silvio Perrella

Moderated by Stefano Salis 

From Riviera by Ficara (Einaudi) to Passaggio in Sardegna by Onofri (Giunti), from the Naples of Perrella in Doppio scatto (Bompiani) to the fantastical places of Manguel: a journey into journeys.


12.00  Balconata di Palazzo Strozzi

Writers of Lost Lands

Dasa Drndic, Maaza Mengiste, Miguel Syjuco

Chaired by Vanni Santoni

Three writers about war, exile, violence: the Ethiopia of Mengiste, the Philippines of Syjuco and the former Yugoslavia of Drndic. What can literature do?


15.00 Balconata di Palazzo Strozzi

Writers of the Past

With Andrew Sean Greer and Aldo Nove and Carmen Pellegrino

Chaired by Rosa Polacco

The question is posed by Pasternak: “my dears, what century is it outside?” The responses come from Greta Wells by Greer (Bompiani, translation by Elena dal Pra), Antonello in Un bambino piangeva by Nove (Mondadori) and the inhabitants of an abandoned village in Cade la terra by Pellegrino (Giunti).


16.30  Balconata di Palazzo Strozzi

Translating Don DeLillo

Federica Aceto, Translation Prize for End Zone by Don DeLillo (Einaudi), in conversation with Francesco Guglieri and Tommaso Pincio

Interviewed by Martina Testa, Ilide Carmignani and Leonardo Marcello Pignataro

A translator and her editor, a discussion mediated by a writer who is also a translator.



18.00 Palazzo Vecchio, Salone dei Cinquecento

Award Ceremony

Presided over by Dario Nardella Mayor of Florence

In the presence of the jury for the best work of foreign fiction Ernesto Ferrero (president), Beatrice Monti della Corte, Alberto Manguel, Edmund White, Andrea Bajani and the jury for the best translation Martina Testa (president), Ilide Carmignani and Leonardo Marcello Pignataro.  Also present, the shortlisted authors Dasa Drndic, Andrew Miller, Guadalupe Nettel, Vladimir Sorokin, Tommy Wieringa and the winner of the translation prize Federica Aceto