We are very pleased to announce Moreno Giovannoni as the inaugural prize winner. His entry is from a book he is writing called ‘Tales of San Ginese.’
The winning entry, from ‘Tales of San Ginese’, is set in an agricultural village in Italy where, according to the author, fatalism rules, God lingers in the minds of its one hundred and twenty inhabitants, and many dream of California, Argentina or Australia. Some go and come back disillusioned, then wish they had never returned, and those who never leave wish they had.
The judges awarded the prize to Giovannoni for its evident quality of writing, describing it as whimsical without being sentimental, inventive without being precious. The judges agreed that while it seems to take real stories from life, the writing also captures in a humorous, ironical voice something delicate but intangible about loss, nostalgia and home.
The judges also identified two prize runner-ups, Melanie Cheng and Emilia Nazari.
Melanie Cheng’s ‘Australia Day’ is about a young woman taking her male Chinese friend home to the farm to meet the family. The judges praised this short story for the poignant situation it describes, its confidence, great detail and nuancing of character.
Emilia Nazari’s piece, ‘The Autumn Limes of Amoo’, is set in a small town in Pakistan where a group of Iranian refugees await resettlement. The judges found this work beautifully written, assured, vivid and disciplined, with strong command of its subject and a fine balance between detail and narrative.
Moreno Giovannoni worked with mentor Antoni Jach following his 2015 Deborah Cass Prize win.