Italian writer, Stefano Petrocchi, will present his novel “La polveriera” [The powder keg] in Shkoder and Tirana on Wednesday and Thursday, revealing the behind-the-scene story of the literary award ‘Premio Strega’ in Albania. The event has been organised by the Italian Cultural Institute in Tirana, in collaboration with the Italian Department of the University of Tirana, the Italian Studies Section of the University of Shkoder, and the honorary consulate in Shkoder. The book takes readers on a journey among stories, the backstage and the legends about the most important Italian literary award. Petrocchi, who is director of the Fondazione Bellonci, narrates the stories, the plots and the polemics that have surrounded the ‘Premio Strega’ from its inception in 1947, when it was established in Rome by Italian writer Maria Bellonci and Guido Alberti, the owner of the distillery that produced the Strega liqueur. The novel runs across the history of the award through the events that characterised it and the strong impact the strong personality of its founder and director for 40 years had on it. It also narrates the life of another formidable woman, Anna Maria Rimoaldi, who took over the direction of the literary award from Bellonci. It is a journey across the history of Italian literature and culture from the second half of the 20th century to date. On Wednesday, the library of Shkoder University will host the first book launch, to be followed on Thursday by the presentation at the Languages Faculty of the University of Tirana.