Leyla Khalil is a young Italian-Lebanese writer and the winner of the X edition of the Slow Food Special Award that rewards stories inspired by food and its production. The award is part of the National Literary Contest, Lingua Madre (Mother Tongue), the first one to be specifically dedicated to foreign women residing in Italy who, by using their new language, wish to deepen the relationship from identity to roots with their countries through writing.
In her tale “Racconti surgelati” (Frozen Stories), the author has chosen food as the means by which to deepen this relationship and talk about family, love and memories. The frozen memories of Leyla was awarded by Slow Food due to the depth of the topics dealt with: death, food and ones native language. The memory of Tèta, the protagonist’s grandmother, is stored in the freezer, in the form of a thousand foods that Tèta used to freeze. In the story the challenges of communicating in different languages emerges, where the grandchildren have lost, for the most part, contact with their own mother tongue and can only express these memories through trial and error. The style is mature, incisive. The story powerful. "