D’Annunzio biography wins Samuel Johnson Prize
A biography of “repellent” Italian poet and politician has been awarded the 2013 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction. Author Lucy Hughes-Hallett was yeserday announced winner of the £20,000 2013 Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction, for her biography The Pike, published by 4th Estate.
The Pike is the story of the controversial life of Gabriele D’Annunzio, the debauched Italian artist who became a national hero. His evolution from idealist Romantic to radical right-wing revolutionary is a political parable. Through his ideological journey, culminating in the failure of his attempt at Fiume to establish a utopia based on his fascist and artistic ideals, readers witness the political turbulence of early 20th-century Europe and the emergence of fascism, while also following a personal story of an outrageous career.
The winner was announced by Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal and chair of judges, at the Royal Institute of British Architects. Martin’s fellow judges were classicist, Mary Beard; Director of Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti; historian, Peter Hennessy; and writer and non-fiction reviewer, James McConnachie.
The prize aims to reward the best of non-fiction and is open to authors of all non-fiction books in the areas of current affairs, history, politics, science, sport, travel, biography, autobiography and the arts.