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Italy at the 2016 National Book Festival in Washington



Italy at the 2016 National Book Festival in Washington

A resounding success for Italy at the 2016 National Book Festival, organized by the Library of Congress and held on September 24 at the Washington Convention Center, an event which attracted over 220,000 visitors in one day.

Italy had a star role in two of the Festival events this year.

To start with, the international stage opened with a special tribute to Primo Levi and to the English translation of his Complete Works, presented by Festival Director Marie Arana. The panel was moderated by Michael Abramowitz of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and featured Primo Levi translator Ann Goldstein, as well as critic Adam Gopnik and the Director of the Centro Primo Levi in New York Alessandro Cassin. The presentation was accompanied by a film by Cynthia Madanskys - produced by the American Initiative for Italian Culture (AIFIC) - which made an already special event truly unforgettable.

Italian Kitchen also played a prominent role in the “Food & Home” event: Victor Hazan - the first importer of Italian wines to the United States and husband of the famous Marcella Hazan who in the 1970s revolutionized the idea of italian cuisine in America – introduced his latest work “Ingredienti: Marcella's Guide to the Market”. In this book, he revisits some of his wife’s ideas and helps readers select the best products to prepare outstanding dishes. Alessandro Frassica was on the same panel, and presented his latest work "Veggie Pan'ino" (in English) which is transforming the idea of American sandwiches. The panel was moderated by Guy Lamolinara, an expert in international cuisine.

The 2016 National Book Festival was the first major event presided over by the newly sworn-in Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden who, in the course of the inaugural Festival Gala, warmly recalled the Embassy of Italy’s great contribution to the success of the event.