Big Money Books

Five finalists have been announced for the new Sami Rohr prize for Jewish literature. According to the official announcement (a PDF), the whopping $100,000 award is the largest ever for a Jewish literary prize.

The prize will be given annually to an “emerging writer” and this year’s nomination list has a distinctly international flavor:

-Naomi Alderman of England for Disobedience (Touchstone)

– Amir Gutfreund of Israel for Our Holocaust (Toby Press)

– Yael Hedaya of Israel for Accidents (Metropolitan Books)

– Michael Lavigne of San Francisco, CA, for Not Me (Random House)

– Tamar Yellin of England for The Genizah at the House of Shepher (Toby Press)

I’ve only heard of two of these book: Lavigne’s and Alderman’s, and only the latter has gotten much press, as far as I’ve seen (though I have come across Yellin’s story collection Kafka in Bronteland).

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