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Edmund White awarded the Premio Letterario Internazionale Mondello

Edmund White, author and Professor of Creative Writing in the Lewis Center for the Arts, has been awarded the Premio Letterario Internazionale Mondello, one of Italy’s most prestigious international literary prizes. White won the award for Best Foreign Author for his biography, Rimbaud: The Double Life of a Rebel.

The award will be presented to White in a special ceremony in Palermo in May. "I must collect the prize in person (that's the rule), which is no hardship since it will give me the chance to visit Sicily for the first time. I'm published in Italy by a miniscule house and I'm delighted also for their sake," said White. Major authors who have previously received the prize include Doris Lessing, Günter Grass, Octavio Paz, José Saramago, Milan Kundera, Thomas Bernhard, Christa Wolf, Bernard Malamud, Kurt Vonnegut and Friedrich Dürrenmatt.

Edmund White, who has written some 20 books, is perhaps best known for his biography of French writer Jean Genet, for which he won the National Book Critics Circle Award. He is also the author of a trilogy of autobiographical novels ─ A Boy's Own Story, The Beautiful Room is Empty, and The Farewell Symphony. White has written a novel about love in the AIDS era called The Married Man, a brief life of Marcel Proust and a book about unconventional Paris called The Flaneur. In addition to Rimbaud, White’s recent works of fiction are Chaos and Hôtel de Dream. His latest book, City Boy, a memoir of New York in the 1970s, was recently nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award. “I believe Edmund White is one of the best writers of my generation; he's certainly the contemporary American writer I reread more than any other, and the one whose next book I look forward to reading most, ”said John Irving recently.

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