I was very fortunate indeed to have been invited to judge the 2017 Jewish Quarterly/Wingate Prize. It was a wholly enjoyable and incredibly stimulating experience. The marvelously wide rubric of the 40-year-old prize is “to recognize writing by Jewish and non-Jewish writers that explores themes of Jewish concern in any of its myriad possible forms either explicitly or implicitly.”
As I and my fellow judges – chair of the judges Bryan Cheyette, novelist Joanna Kavenna and playwright Amy Rosenthal – read the many submitted books dealing in an impressive variety of ways with the rise of fascism in Europe in the 1930s, the fate of refugees refused asylum and mass warfare and its aftermath, we reflected time and again on how history refuses to stay neatly in the past.
With Philippe Sands – who shared the prize with Ayelet Gundar-Goshen – and Amy Rosenthal at the award evening.
This is a piece I wrote for Haaretz describing how we came to choose the very worthy winners of the prize.