GEORGE SAUNDERS, LINCOLN NEL BARDO – Feltrinelli Editore
Born in Texas in 1958, George Saunders has published four collections of stories: CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, Pastoralia, In Persuasion Nation and Tenth of December. He is also the author of the famous Syracuse University Commencement Speech, published in book form as Congratulations, by the way: Some Thoughts on Kindness. He has won the National Magazine Award four times and the Folio award once in 2014. He was included in The New Yorker’s list of “twenty writers for the twenty-first century” and in 2013 he won the PEN/Malamud Award, the most prestigious American short story prize. He was included in Time magazine’s 2013 list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Feltrinelli has published Italian versions of most of his books. In 2017 he won the Man Booker Prize for Lincoln in the Bardo.
“George Saunders makes the all-but-impossible look effortless. We're lucky to have him,”
As well as being an extremely funny writer, George Saunders is a great poet of pain. Even his definition of humour is precise and serious: “humor is what happens when we're told the truth quicker and more directly than we're used to.”
His signature work, Lincoln in the Bardo, which in 2017 earned him the Man Booker Prize, explores in particular the pain of a father contending with the disembodied voices of lost and saved souls. With accents belonging to a variety of social classes, historical periods and ethnicities, the souls speak of all the mysteries of existence in the afterlife, until Lincoln utters the word “death” and the ghostly voices fade away. Like a modern Dante, but without the same systematic geography, consoling faith, or earthly rancour, Saunders has imagined in great detail a gloomy underworld.
Saunders has written short stories, novellas, essays, a novel, and even children’s books, one of which was awarded a prize in Italy. He warned the modern writer against making judgements, counselling them instead to remain supremely open to experience. He has followed his own advice perfectly.
2018 XII EDITION FINALISTS
KATIE KITAMURA, UNA SEPARAZIONE – Bollati Boringhieri
Born in California in 1979 to parents of Japanese origin, today she lives in New York and is an Honorary Research Fellow at the London Consortium. A martial arts enthusiast, she published her first novel, The Longshot, in 2009, which was followed by Gone to the Forest, a finalist in the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award. She collaborates with The New York Times, The Guardian and Frieze, among others.
ANDREÏ MAKINE, L’ARCIPELAGO DELLA NUOVA VITA – La Nave di Teseo
Born in Siberia in 1957, today he lives in France, where he has won both the Prix Goncourt and the Prix Médicis. He has published more than a dozen novels, translated into over four languages. Among these are Le Testament français, La Musique d'une vie and L'Amour humain. In 2016 he was elected to the Académie Française.
LAWRENCE OSBORNE, CACCIATORI NEL BUIO - Adelphi
Lawrence Osborne was born in England and studied modern languages at Cambridge and Harvard. He lived in Paris for ten years, where he wrote his first novel, Ania Malina, and later his travel diary, Paris Dreambook. He has lived in New York since 1992, interspersing his periods of activity in the Big Apple with long stints in East Asia.
He has written for The New York Times, Salon, The New Yorker, The Financial Times, The New York Observer, New York Magazine, Forbes, Conde Nast Traveler, Gourmet and Men's Vogue.
As well as Ania Malina and Paris Dreambook, he has written the essay collection The Poisoned Embrace and a controversial book on autism entitled American Normal. In Italy he has published Il turista nudo (2006), Shangri-la (2008) and Bangkok (2009), all with Adelphi.
DAVID SZALAY, TUTTO QUELLO CHE È UN UOMO - Adelphi
Born in Montreal in 1974, David Szalay grew up in the United Kingdom and studied at Oxford. His debut novel, London and the South-East, won the Betty Trask Award, and was followed by Innocent (2009) and Spring (2011). He was included in Granta’s list of the Best Young British Novelists, 2013. In 2016 All That Man Is was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize.
PREMIO GREGOR VON REZZORI FOR THE BEST TRANSLATION OF A WORK OF FOREIGN FICTION
For admirable translations of RILKE, KAFKA, BERNHARD, SCHULZE, HANDKE, and GRASS.