Ben Okri

Ben Okri’s Preghiera per i vivi is on the longlist of the Premio Gregor von Rezzori 2022 announced on April 23, 2022.

Gregor von Rezzori was a novelist, memoirist, screenwriter, and author of radio plays, as well as an actor, journalist, visual artist, art critic, and art collector. He passed away in 1998 and his widow Beatrice Monti della Corte who chairs the Santa Maddalena Foundation conceived the Premio Gregor von Rezzori (the Gregor von Rezzori Prize in English) in his honour.

The prize awards the best work of foreign fiction translated in Italy and published in the preceding year. It is supported by the municipality of the City of Florence, Italy is promoted by the MiBACT Center for books and reading, and sponsored by the Tuscany Region. Some of the previous winners have been Hisham Matar, Jhumpa Lahiri, Maylis de Kerangal, and Maaza Mengiste.

The jury for this year is composed of Beatrice Monti della Corte, Andrea Bajani, Maylis de Kerangal, Ernesto Ferrero, Andrea Landolfi, Alberto Manguel and Edmund White. They announced the longlist for the award which includes Ben Okri’s Preghiera per i vivi (Prayer for the living) (La Nave di Teseo, translated by Elena Malanga).

Beatrice Monti said, “In this insecure time, in which pain, cruelty and anxiety for a future difficult to imagine prevail over everything, I think that reading is one of the safest refuge. For this reason too, the list of writers proposed for our Gregor von Rezzori Award – City of Florence, now in its 16th edition, brings us the voice of many countries and opens up other horizons for us. The voices are very different, but they are united by a great originality and literary quality. I think all of this will give the reader moments of comfort and real pleasure.”

The winner of the award will be announced at a ceremony that happens between May 30-June 1.