Schama, Shteyngart & Leo on 2015 JQ-Wingate Longlist

History and memoir dominate the 2015 longlist, including Hanna Krall’s best-selling Auschwitz memoir, Chasing the King of Hearts, translated into English for the first time, and Rachel Cohen’s biography of art dealer and connoisseur Bernard Berenson. Two histories of Israel challenge each other’s narratives: Ilan Pappe’s The Idea of Israel and Ari Shavit’s My Promised Land, while ideas about family and memory are explored in two novels, Zeruya Shalev’s Remains of Love and Diary of the Fall by Michel Laub, one of Granta’s “Best of Young Brazilian Novelists”. Unusually, Eryn Green’s award-winning poetry collection Eruv makes the longlist.

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Judges Devorah Baum, Eva Hoffman, Gabriel Josipovici and George Szirtes selected the longlist from over seventy entries, and the winner will be announced on 4 March at London’s JW3.

Here’s the full list:

1. Jews in Poland and Russia by Antony Polonsky (Littman Library) 

2. Red Love by Maxim Leo (Pushkin Press) Ttranslated by Shaun Whiteside

3. The Idea of Israel by Ilan Pappe (Verso) 

4. The Private Life by Josh Cohen (Granta) 

5. Chasing the King of Hearts by Hanna Krall (Peirene) Translated by Philip Boehm

6. The Story of the Jews: Finding the Words (1000 BCE – 1492) by Simon Schama (Bodley Head) 

7. Berenson: Life in the Picture Trade by Rachel Cohen (Yale) 

8. Remains of Love by Zeruya Shalev (Bloomsbury) Translated by Philip Simpson

9. Diary of the Fall by Michel Laub (Harvill)  Translated by Margaret Jull Costa

10. Eruv by Eryn Green (Yale)  

11. My Promised Land by Ari Shavit (Scribe) 

12. Little Failure by Gary Shteyngart (Penguin) 

13. Netanya by Dror Burstein (Dalkey Archive)  Translated by Todd Hasak-Lowy  

14. Hanns and Rudolf: The German Jew and the Hunt for the Kommandant of Auschwitz by Thomas Harding (Heinemann) 

15. Scattered Ghosts by Nick Barlay (Tauris)

Gabriel Josipovici, Chair of the judges saysThis has been an exceptional year for  history and for memoir, which is reflected in our longlist, where fiction and poetry make up barely a third of the books.  And so high has been the standard that even selecting a longlist has been a fraught and difficult business, with the judges arguing long and hard and some excellent work in all categories not even making it this far.’ 

Commenting on the longlist, Director of the prize Rachel Lasserson says, ‘This generation of writers was born into stories of epic scale. Our longlist reflects their struggle to make sense of these huge stories.’

For details of the prize please click here

Keep up to date with the prize via Twitter and Facebook

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  1. […] on the [Jewish Quarterly/Wingate Prize] longlist, Director of the prize Rachel Lasserson says, ‘This generation of writers was born into stories […]

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