Antonio Pennacchi won the 64th edition of the Premio Strega with the novel Canale Mussolini.
Pennacchi’s book recounts the story of a large, patriarchal, peasant family that together with 3,000 other families in 1932 is relocated to Lazio from Veneto to colonise the Agro Pontino swamps that had just been drained by Mussolini.
The heroes of this moving saga are the Peruzzis, from the grandfather to Pericle to Adelchi, three generations of agricultural labourers who with tenacity fight the march of destiny. Drawing a large picture that has the wide scope of a poem, the story weaves the adventures of the Peruzzis together with the no-less engaging events that took place during the half century of Italian history spanning from the beginning of the 20th Century to the Second World War.
Pennacchi recalls the past with a clear and critical spirit and merges it with subtle emotion to produce a vast and rich story, an authentic epic, a great Italian novel.