Wingate Literary Prize
Top Israeli writers win
Jewish Literary Prize
David Grossman and Amos Elon were tonight, (6 May), named
winners of the Jewish Quarterly Wingate Literary Prize 2004. David
Grossmans novel, Someone to Run With, won the Fiction
award and The Pity of It All: A Portrait of Jews in Germany 1743-1933
by Amos Elon took the Non-Fiction prize. The two winners each receive
a cheque for £4,000 and the shortlisted runners-up in each category receive
acclaimed as a champion of peace and a lead signatory of the Israeli-Palestinian
Geneva accord, David Grossman (pictured right) is considered one of Israels
finest and most perceptive writers. Someone to Run With is set in Jerusalem,
shortly before Grossmans hopes for peace were dashed by the outbreak of a second
intifada. The story follows two Israeli teenagers Assaf, a lanky errand
boy, and Tamar, a runaway with eyes that saw too much and Dinka, the golden
labrador that eventually brings them together. The Financial Times comments
that it is an intensely gripping novel.
The Pity of It All: A Portrait of Jews in Germany 1743-1933
by Amos Elon is a history of German Jews from the mid-eighteenth century to
the eve of the Third Reich which traces their transformation from cattle dealers
and wandering peddlers to a successful community of writers, philosophers, scientists,
and activists. Elon tells their story of cultural assimilation through the lives
of leading Jewish figures including Moses Mendelssohn, Rachel Levin, Albert
Einstein and Hannah Arendt. Richard Overy describes the book as a wonderful,
literary panorama of Jewish cultural life.
Abse (pictured left), highly praised by the judges also received a special
commendation for his exceptional body of work New and Collected Poems.
Now in their 28th year, the Jewish Quarterly Wingate
Literary Prizes are the only awards in the UK to celebrate and recognise the
full variety and originality of major works of Jewish interest. The prize-giving
ceremony took place in the Arts Club in central London and was attended by over
75 key figures in the publishing industry, book trade and Jewish literary community.
Jonathan Freedland, Chairman of the Judges, comments:
Our two winners prove that, whatever else is going
on in Israel, Israeli writers go from strength to strength. David Grossman's
Someone To Run With is both a page-turner and a beautifully perceptive
insight into the teenage mind - all the while exposing a new face of Jerusalem.
Amos Elon's Pity of it All does what many thought impossible - it rescues
German Jewry from the frozen role of victim, telling that community's story
with intelligence, poignance and a searing humanity. The desire to honour Dannie
Abse was instant and unanimous: his collection of poetry is the work of a master,
a volume of joys that readers will go back to again and again.
The titles selected for the shortlist
|New & Collected Poems
|| Dannie Abse
|Someone to Run With
|| David Grossman
|The Liberated Bride
|| A.B. Yehoshua
|| Peter Halban
The Pity of It All: A Portrait of Jews in
| Amos Elon
The Goldberg Variations: From Football Hooligan
to Opera Singer
| Mark Glanville
Somewhere to Hang My Hat
| Stanley Price
|| New Island
Broken Promises: Israeli Lives
The Judges for this years prize were Jonathan
Freedland (Chairman), Hephzibah Anderson, Rabbi Tony Bayfield, Philip Hensher
and Susie Orbach. Background information on this years judging panel is attached.
The winning entries were
Someone to Run With
Someone to Run With explores the life of Israeli street kids and the
anxieties of family life in a society racked by self-doubt. Grossman's most
popular work to date, a bestseller hailed by the Israeli press and doveish politicians
including Shimon Peres for its mixture of fairy-tale magic, emotional sensitivity,
and gritty realism.
David Grossman was born in Jerusalem in 1954 and is regarded as one
of Israels leading novelists and journalists. A key advocate of the Geneva
Accord he has published two highly praised works of journalism, The Yellow
Wind and Sleeping on a Wire. He continues to write regularly for
The Guardian and also a number of American newspapers.
Press Contact: Colin Midson at Bloomsbury on 020 7494 6054 or email@example.com
The Pity of It All: A Portrait of Jews in Germany
Amos Elon Penguin
The Pity of It All is a passionate and poignant history of German
Jews, tracing the journey of a people and their culture from the mid eighteenth
century to the eve of the Third Reich. As it is usually told, the story of the
Jews in Germany starts at the end, overshadowed by their tragic demise in Hitlers
Reich. Now, in this important work of historical restoration, the acclaimed
historian and social critic Amos Elon starts at the beginning, chronicling a
150-year period of achievement and integration that at its peak produced a golden
age second only to the Renaissance.
Amos Elon is the author of eight widely praised books, including A
Blood-Dimmed Tide, Founder: A Portrait of the First Rothschild
and The New York Times bestseller Israelis: Founders and Sons.
A frequent contributor to The New York Times Magazine and
The New York Review of Books, he divides his time between Jerusalem
Press Contact: Rosie Glaisher at Penguin Press on 020 7010 3150 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Jonathan Freedland (Chair) is a columnist for the Guardian. He
also writes a monthly column for the Jewish Chronicle and is the presenter
of BBC Radio 4's contemporary history series The Long View as well as
The Talk Show on BBC FOUR television. He is the author of the acclaimed
and controversial book, Bring Home the Revolution: the Case for a British
Republic and in 2004 will publish Jacob's Gift - a family memoir
about Jewishness, identity and belonging.
Hephzibah Anderson is deputy fiction critic for The Observer,
Fiction Editor of the Daily Mail, and a visual arts writer for the Evening
Standard. She sits on the editorial board of the Jewish Quarterly,
and writes regularly for the Jewish Chronicle, the New Statesman
and Zembla Magazine. She also reviews for BBC Radio London and BBC Radio
Rabbi Tony Bayfield is Chief Executive of the Reform Synagogues of Great
Britain and a leading representative of progressive Jewish scholarly thought.
His books include He Kissed Him and They Wept and Dialogue With a
Philip Hensher is a renowned novelist and critic. His novels include
Kitchen Venom, which won the Somerset Maugham Award, Pleasured,
and The Mulberry Empire. He is a regular broadcaster and contributes
reviews and articles to various newspapers and journals including The Spectator,
the Mail on Sunday and The Independent. He is a member of the
Council of the Royal Society of Literature and in 2003 he was nominated by Granta
magazine as one of twenty 'Best of Young British Novelists'.
Susie Orbach is a psychoanalyst and writer. In 1976 she co-founded the
Women's Therapy centre in London and in 1981 The Women's Therapy Centre Institute
in New York. Her books include The Impossibility of Sex, Fat is a Feminist
Issue, Hunger Strike and What Do Women Want? She has also published
two collections of her Guardian columns - What's Really Going On Here?
and Towards Emotional Literacy.
For further information
and interview requests, please contact
Hannah Blake or
Dotti Irving at:
Colman Getty PR
T: 020 7631 2666
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