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Viva Libri Italiano!

You Speak To Me In Trees by Elena WolffIt’s an Italian-heavy week in book world news. The Bressani Prizes, awarded every two years to outstanding literary works by Canadian authors of Italian descent, have been announced last Thursday in Vancouver. According to CBC News, the winners were:

Toronto’s Elana Wolff for her collection of poetry entitled You Speak To Me In Trees;

Donna Caruso for her radio drama The Clothesline;

Darlene Madott for her short story collection Making Olives and Other Family Secrets; and

Victoria Miles for her novel, Magnifico.

The prize, re-established in 2000, is named after the Jesuit father Francesco Giuseppe Bressani (1612-72), the first Italian missionary to Canada, and is awarded by the Vancouver Italian Cultural Centre.

And in other news, a book called the most valuable new book on the planet is making its new home at the New York Public Library, after having been donated by the Italian publisher who produced the work. The tome, a dedication to the life and work of Michelangelo, weighs 28 kg (approximately 65 lbs) is said to be worth more than USD 100,000, is bound in velvet and marble, and took six months to create.

The book, titled Michelangelo. La Dotta Mano (The Learned Hand ) has a front cover made of white marble from Michelangelo’s favourite quarry, in Carrara. The binding is covered with a red silk velvet handmade by the same Italian shop that made the main stage curtains at The Metropolitan Opera and Milan’s Teatro Alla Scala.

Wow. Look how exquisite that is. I’d better start saving my pennies, because working at AbeBooks is giving me a real taste for beautifully crafted books.

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