The second novel from the young Italian satirises the murky world of literary awardsIn Italy, more so than in Britain, literary prizes are regarded as something of a vanity; showbiz impresarios, fashion models and industrialists all clamour to attend the awards. The Campiello Prize for fiction, much coveted, used to be promoted by a business colleague of the Vatican banker Roberto Calvi, who was found hanging under Blackfriar’s Bridge in London in the summer of 1982. Calvi’s gangland execution confirmed the suspicions of many Italians regarding the links between organised crime and the awards industry. (Primo Levi had no sooner been nominated for the Campiello in 1982 than the Mafia executed one of the jury.)Filippo Bologna, who won the Strega Prize in 2009 for his debut novel, How I Lost the War, understands the murky business of literary awards in his native Italy. His second novel, The Parrots, translated by Howard Curtis, offers a bitter satire on the scheming and vote-rigging attendant on an Italian literary prize that may or may not be the Strega. The plot, unfolding in present-day Rome, concerns the in-fighting between three contestants known as The Beginner, The Writer and The Master. Who will win the …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books