The Galtellì Literary Prize 2017
International Category Winner is Giuditta Sireus
The narrator tells the story of a young woman, Noemi, who was searching for her own identity and self-belief. In order to find them, she travels to meet Hope, a spinner in Sarule. It is thanks to the ancient wisdom of his woman that, Noemi finds again her self-confidence.
It is through this tale that the writer has the opportunity to emphasise the symbology of the weaving that brings together Sardinia’s traditions and the most ancient and native Mediterranean culture.
Dialogues intersect with descriptive summaries where the writer also presents an effective historicisation of weaving as an activity, recalling the establishment of laboratories of L’ISOLA (The Island) by Eugenio Tavolara.
It is also though through two flashbacks that re-direct to Hope’s adolescence and her “initiation” to weaving, that Sireus can easily unravel the world of Sardinian anthropological tradition with a wider symbolism linked to the vertical frame, very rare and very ancient, and the same used by Homeric Penelope.
At the same time, the references to popular Sardinian traditions, from the “filonzana” to the Parcae-Janas that spin the thread of life, are full of great allusions to the “folks of the night” as the Efix of “Reeds in the Wind” called the symbolic presence that surrounded him.
The narrative plot moves on several temporal orders: the present in the encounter between Noemi and Hope, the past in Hope’s history, her initiation to weaving and the blurred of the symbolic eternity..
Of relevance are the descriptive sequences about food, hospitality and traditional dance, so-called “su ballu tundu” (the dance in circle) that opens a kind of a slip beyond personal time and insert lyrics from Sarules’s traditions.
Sardinian Category Winner is Franceschina Loddo
The strength of the story is in a popular religiosity that goes from the Sanctuary of the Virgin Mary of the Remedy in Orosei, to the miraculous Christ of Galtellì.
These important Deleddian places host a story that share the themes characteristic of Grazia Deledda’s work: primarily the central role of faith.
The story is about two women who give birh on the same day: one in Orosei and the second one in Galtellì: a boy and a girl.
It is a game of destiny: the two children grow up, meet and marry each other despite the animosity between their families and their dissimilar social and economical background.
The conflict between poverty and wealth is overcome, as in the best Deledda’s tradition, thanks to the power of eros that connects the young lovers. A power that, however, can not win against the fatality of history: when he must leave for the First World War, where he eventually meets his faith and dies.
The tale ends with a small glimpse of hope: while he is dying in the trench, his young wife is giving birth to their children, in remembrance that life always wins over pain and the death.
A positive stylistic trait can be noted in the description of popular festivals and the most genuine religiousness that comes from religious rites of the places of worship which, by chance, gives rise to the story of the main characters.
Good mimesis in local Sardinian language are the dialogues that keep expressiveness fresh and vibrant.
(in alphabetical order)
Writers in English
“What You Should Know”
“We Only Notice When It’s Gone”
“Going It Alone”
Writers in Italian
Maria Laura Moraci
Writers in Sardinian
The President of the Jury
Neria De Giovanni divides her time between Alghero, Sardinia and Rome. She is president of the International Association of Literary Critics, the first woman and first Italian to hold that position in the Paris-based UNESCO-affiliated organization. A lecturer in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Sassari, she has published forty books, twelve of which are about Grazia Deledda, and she is responsible as well for the online journal Portale Letterario and Nemapress Editions. As a popular lecturer on Grazia Deledda, De Giovanni participates regularly at conferences and cultural centers in Italy and abroad and has created radio programming for RADIORAI and television shows for RAI, including “Grazia Deledda in Rome.” She is the recipient of numerous Italian and international awards.
The Members of the Jury
Dr. Joseph Alvaro is presently a member of faculty at the Language Center in the School of Social Sciences and Humanities at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies (Middle East). He is a published author whose research has appeared in academic journals such as World Englishes and Discourse & Society, as well as the Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics (2015). His work is mainly in the field of discourse studies, which, through the critical analysis of text, explores the relationships between language, ideology, and power. His research has specifically focused on unequal power relations and the abuse of the human rights of political dissenters in China and Hong Kong, where he worked for nearly 20 years as Visiting Fellow in Departments of English at The City University of Hong Kong, and South China Normal University.
Pierfranco Bruni is Archeologist Director Coordinator and anthropologist of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage. Part of the UNESCO Commission for the spread of Italian culture abroad, he is president of the Centro Studi “Grisi”. He’s in charge for many other institutional mandates related to the promotion of culture and literature in foreign countries.
He has written essays on the problems related to the poetic culture of Ancient Greece. He wrote, among other things, a book of Fabrizio De André (Italian songwriter), and the Mediterranean ( “The Song of the Mediterranean dreamer“, now in its third edition), which stands in a path on the literary master of Italian singers, namely the relationship between poetic language and music. A theme that constitutes a research model on which Bruni has worked for many years.
Justin Hill is an international author, whose award-winning work spans eras as distant from one another as modern China, in The Drink and Dream Teahouse, eleventh century Europe, in Viking Fire, and Eritrea, East Africa, in Ciao Asmara.
His work has won numerous awards, including the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award, and a Betty Trask Award. It has also been selected by the Sunday Times, The Times, The Independent, Telegraph on Sunday and Washington Post as their Books of the Year.
In 2014 he was selected to write the sequel to the Oscar winning film, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. His Conquest Series (Shieldwall and Viking Fire) re-examines the narratives surrounding the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. The Independent on Sunday selected him as one of the Top Twenty Young British Authors.
Translated into seventeen languages, Hill’s work also has the rare distinction of being banned in Mainland China.
Jonathan Webley was born in Wales, and misspent his youth reading anything and everything. He studied physics at Imperial College London, later working in IT in the city. Whilst studying mathematics part time with the Open University, he discovered a passion for the wild and remote places and relocated to Scotland, becoming an avid mountaineer.Having retained a love of the written word, later in life, he changed career, studying proofreading and copy-editing. Currently, Jonathan works as a freelance copy-editor, working on a range of texts from science papers and novels through to business presentations and reviews. Jonathan volunteers for the Britannia Panopticon, the world’s oldest surviving music hall.
He has two grown-up children from his first marriage, both of whom are studying at the University of Strathclyde.