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Troll Wall by Tony Howard wins the ITAS Prize at the 2013 Trento Festival

Wednesday, 22nd May 2013

Tony Howard at the award ceremony in Trento

The Italian translation of Tony Howard’s book Troll Wall has won the ITAS ‘Opere Prima’ prize at the 2013 Trento Film Festival. The judges’ panel unanimously agreed that this first-class book stands out for its narrative quality.

First published in English by Vertebrate Publishing in 2011, the Italian language edition was published by Versante Sud in 2012.

Tony Howard flew out to collect the prize at the award ceremony in May. Tony commented: 'Di and I were climbing and trekking in Jordan when I got an email from Versante Sud to say that Troll Wall had won the mountain book award at Trento Festival. Gobsmacked is not a strong enough word! Vertebrate had mentioned that they were sending the book to Italy to see if they were interested in translating and publishing it. That was all I knew, so monster surprise!

'Luckily we were returning to the UK that week, so we were just in time to fly to Trento the following week. Chaperoned by the Versante Sud team, Matteo and Bruno, both climbers and great company, and hosted by the award sponsors, ITAS, we had a great time, not to mention receiving the award itself, a very nice piece of artwork and a stash of dosh.'

The English and Italian covers for Troll WallSet in Norway in 1965, Troll Wall tells the true story of a group of intrepid young English climbers decide to open a new route up the tallest rock face in Europe – the Troll Wall.

The seven make their base-camp below the gigantic bastion. Struggling with forbidding weather conditions, the young climbers manage to gain the summit. At the same time, however, a team of local Norwegian climbers finds another route alongside theirs and arrives at the top first.

Written in the aftermath of the expedition and having remained for more than forty years in a desk drawer, Troll Wall is the gripping, often humorous tale of an adventure that is literally ‘on the edge’. It is, without doubt, one the most spectacular yet little-known works to come from a British pen in recent years.

In the vein of classic 1960’s rock music, Howard transports the reader to the vertiginous heart of rock-climbing, to an immense and seemingly impossible climb, in a story which, thanks to its tightly controlled treatment of plot and characterisation, saves itself from the clichés of the genre.

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