Sicilian Mafia

Sicilian mobster wins literary prize, stirring controversy

A jailed Sicilian mobster who cannot remember how many people he has killed has sparked a row in Italy after being awarded a top literary prize for his autobiography.

Giuseppe Grassonelli, 49, who was given a life sentence in 1992 for at least a dozen murders, has since earned a philosophy degree in jail. On Monday, he won a Sicilian prize founded by Leonardo Sciascia, one of Sicily’s most respected writers and a chronicler of the Mafia.

The short-listing of Grassonelli prompted a furious reaction from Gaspare Agnello, a jury member and friend of Sciascia. Agnello resigned from the jury before prizes were awarded, saying Sciascia, who died in 1989, would have been...

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