We're proud to announce that Mara Josi's book Rome, 16 October 1943: History, Memory, Literature has won the Flaiano Prize. The official announcement can be seen on Instagram here, and on Facebook here. And on the MHRA website, it's here:

announcement image

Established in honour of the Italian author Ennio Flaiano (1910–1972), and awarded annually in his home town of Pescara, the Flaiano Prizes recognize excellence in creative writing, cinema, theatre, radio, and television, and it's a considerable honour to be awarded one. The gold silhouette of a winged horse, the symbol of the prizes, has become iconic: that's the shadow-play shape on the banner image above. We congratulate Mara warmly on her success.

The Italian studies award has been running for decades, but in 2021 it was dedicated to the memory of Luca Attanasio, which is why his name also appears on the banner. A diplomat and humanitarian, and himself a prize-winner — for work in peace — Attanasio became Italy's youngest Ambassador. He was still just 43 when his food convoy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was attacked by an armed band. It was an attempted kidnap, but he died of gunshot wounds. His driver was also murdered, and two weeks later so was the lawyer investigating the case. Peace is not an easy thing, as the people of Italy know all too well. If the DRC is ever peaceful enough for a memorial to be placed on that road in Africa, like the golden cobbles in Rome on the cover of Mara's book, it will be because of the work of Attanasio and those like him.

cover of Rome, 16 October 1943

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