Andrea Bajani, yet another of Einaudi’s rising Italian stars (MacLehose Press are soon to publish Michela Murgia and Marcello Fois), has won the Bagutta Prize for his novel Ogni Promessa, which MacLehose Press will publish as Every Promise.
Ogni Promessa follows a couple’s struggle to conceive a child, a struggle which threatens to tear them apart, a story which is intertwined with that of a grandfather who cannot come to terms with the long retreat from Russia in 1943.
Established in 1926, the Bugatta Prize is Italy’s most venerable literary prize, and is named after a trattoria - the best in Milan - where writers began meeting back in the 1930s
For fun, they decided to establish a system of fines for anyone who arrived late or missed a meeting or left a lady alone to pay the bill. And one evening, Orio Vergani, a journalist, asked why the money collected in fines should not go to the author of the book all liked best. Many decades on, the prize and the trattoria still endure, and you can read much more about both here.
So congratulations to Andrea Bajani for winning the oldest Italian literary prize and surely the one with the best back story. We look forward very much to publishing him in English.