Bernardine Evaristo and Maaza Mengiste are on the longlist for Premio Gregor von Rezzori 2021 announced on April 20, 2020.

Gregor von Rezzori was an Austrian-born, Romanian, German-language 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 Premio Gregor von Rezzori (Gregor von Rezzori Prize in English) in his honour. The award which 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.

The prize is assigned by an international jury to the best work of foreign fiction translated in Italy and published in the preceding year. Some of the previous winners have been Hisham Matar (Libya/USA), Jhumpa Lahiri (India/USA), and Maylis de Kerangal (France),

The jury for the 2021 edition of the prize is composed of Beatrice Monti della Corte, Ernesto Ferrero (president), Andrea Bajani, Maylis de Kerangal, Andrea Landolfi, Alberto Manguel, and Edmund White. This jury announced the longlist for the foreign fiction section and there are two writers of African descent featuring in:

  • Bernardine Evaristo, ragazza, donna, altro (Girl, Woman, Other) translated by Martina Testa (Sur)
  • Maaza Mengiste, Il Re Ombra (The Shadow King) translated by Anna Nadotti (Einaudi)

Those in the running are typically hosted to a series of meetings with readers and their translators in Florence, Italy from June 3-6. On the last day, the winner of the Gregor von Rezzori Prize is proclaimed at a ceremony in Palazzo Vecchio. Due to the dramatic circumstances that have affected everyone this year, the Prize will only take place online, a way to once again reaffirm the value of literature.

Author comments (via Twitter)

Maaza Mengiste
Maaza Mengiste

How absolutely thrilling to find The Shadow King on this long list with so many writers I admire!! Also overjoyed to see my translator Anna Nadotti listed twice, including for Tash Aw’s magnificent book.