The shortlist for this year’s JQ-Wingate Literary Prize has been revealed. The winner will be announced at a ceremony in June. The shortlist is as follows:
- The Blind Side of the Heart by Julia Franck (Harvill Secker)
- My Happiness Bears No Relation to Happiness by Adina Hoffman (Yale UP)
- The Glass Room by Simon Mawer (Little, Brown)
- The Invention of the Jewish People by Shlomo Sand (Verso)
From the press release:
Commenting on the shortlist, Chairman of the Judging panel Anne Karpf said: “We had — as book prize juries famously do — a full and frank discussion. To get onto the shortlist a book needed at least two passionate advocates. The four that emerged are all powerful works that leave you with a different view of the world. Of the two novels, both of them set in pre- and post-war Europe, one is the baroque, unflinching story of a woman's survival (of sorts) despite the depredations of a damaged family and damaging culture; the other, the moving tale of a modernist house whose inhabitants’ hopes for a better future are challenged by the tragic times in which they live. Our two non-fiction choices both ask searching questions about the Middle East: one, controversially, about Israel's founding national story and its Biblical origins; the other, the first ever biography of a Palestinian writer of any kind, beautifully illuminating the Palestinian experience. Together these four books make up a literary feast.”
The JQ-Wingate Literary Prize is "the only UK prize to recognise writing by Jewish and non-Jewish authors, which stimulates an interest in themes of Jewish concern while appealing to the general reader."