Nominees for the prestigious Italian Strega Europeo Award announced


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Premio Strega Europeo has announced five candidates for the national award in Italy. One of them is the novel L’orecchio di Kyiv by Andriy Kurkov. The writer shared this on his Facebook page.


The novel was published in Italian by Marsilio Editori in 2022, translated by Claudia Zonghetti. The publisher’s website states that the novel launches a series of books by Kurkov in Italian translation.


“It is 1919 and Kiev is invaded by the cacophony of revolution. After the arrival of the Red Army, chaos and anarchy reign in the city. In this tumultuous and vacillating pre-Soviet world dominated by the total absence of rules, young student Samson Kolečko finds himself on his own overnight after losing his father (and his right ear) in an ambush, falling under the saber of a Cossack. From that moment on, his life takes an unexpected turn. Completely accidentally enrolled in the new Soviet police force, he is faced with his first case: an investigation related to the Red Army that lived in his apartment, in which his severed ear will play an unexpected role, as well as human bones made of sterling silver and an unusual suit made of fine English cloth. Next to him, in and out of the office, the beautiful Nadia, a determined and skillful girl, quickly wins his heart,” the annotation to the Italian edition reads.



The book was published in Ukrainian by Folio in 2021.


The Premio Strega Europeo is an annual literary award given for a novel translated into Italian by a European author who has received national recognition in his or her home country. Established in 2014, it is awarded by the Maria and Goffredo Bellonci Foundation, just like the prestigious Strega Prize for Italian literature.


The full list of 2023 nominees can be found on the award website.


As reported, Kurkov’s novel Grey Bees won the National Book Critics Circle Award.