8th April, 2020

LINDA GRANT WINS 2020 WINGATE LITERARY PRIZE

Linda Grant’s compelling love letter to London life – A Stranger City – has won the 2020 Wingate Literary Prize.

Described by critics as a ‘deeply important novel for right now’, Grant’s seventh novel, was chosen from a short list which also included: Kafka's Last Trial: The Case of a Literacy Legacy by Benjamin Balint; Liar by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen; Live a Little by Howard Jacobson; Inheritance by Dani Shapiro; Lake Success by Gary Shteyngart and The Photographer at Sixteen by George Szirtes.

Now in its 43rd year, the Wingate Literary prize, worth £4,000 and run in association with JW3, is awarded to the best book, fiction or non-fiction, to translate the idea of Jewishness to the general reader.

This year’s judging panel comprised critically acclaimed novelist and lecturer Dr Roopa Farooki; educator, writer and broadcaster Clive Lawton OBE; past Wingate Prize winner Philippe Sands QC and award-winning novelist Kim Sherwood.

Chair of Judges Clive Lawton said: “A Stranger City is a superb piece of writing about London life and its complexity. Within a diverse and impressive short-list of books, all of which would have been worthy winners of the Wingate prize, A Stranger City very much felt like a work for the 21st Century and a coming of age for Jews in Britain.

“The U.S. has long seen Jews integrated very unselfconsciously into their narratives, but this happens far less in British culture - in literature, television and film. So, in general when you are looking at books about Jews in Britain, the characters are signalled in a much more obvious fashion. A Stranger City is a mature and honest portrayal of the Jewish experience in London without such self-conscious signposting.”

“Set at a time when The Brexit referendum was making the capital's multiculturalism a much more contested concept, Jews are simply part of the novel's picture of contemporary life, not at the centre of all stories. In many ways this may be truer to the normal experience of most Jews today, living within their world, sometimes explicitly Jewish but often simply just Jews among a mixed crowd. Furthermore, the Jewish characters include both easily recognisable and classic long-resident London Jews, as well as more exotic recent Jewish arrivals from Iran, each of them shown in their own complexity.”

“As judges, we were looking for excellence in writing and we all agreed this was a beautifully written book. It managed a complex narrative, juggling a rich variety of characters, all portrayed within a London we all readily recognised.”

Speaking in response, Linda Grant said: “I have been writing books with Jewish themes since 1996, so it’s been a long wait to finally win this most prestigious prize. I know, from having been a judge myself in 1998, the immensely high standard of work submitted and this year was particularly daunting, I’ve read several of the books on the shortlist so I was stunned to have even been considered let alone awarded the prize.”

“In A Stranger City I wanted to write about the unease about the times we are living in, of those with an historic memory of always having to move on, of displacement and a complex sense of what exactly a home is. It goes I think for all Jews, but Jews are not the whole story - other immigrants have arrived and they have their own reality. That’s what I wanted to write about. Thank you to the judges for this huge honour.”

The Wingate Prize is the only UK literary prize of its kind and attracts nominations from all over the globe. Previous winners include Amos Oz, Zadie Smith, Oliver Sacks, Otto Dov Kulka and David Grossman.

Press information: Emma Shrimsley 07961 368481 emma@shrimsley.com

Follow the Wingate Literary Prize on Twitter @Wingateprize


SHORT LIST ANNOUNCED FOR THE 2020 WINGATE PRIZE

The 2020 Wingate Literary Prize has generated a short list of seven books, which between them explore the modern Jewish world as well as events of the past which impact the present.

Among the four works of fiction and three non-fiction books, identity is a common theme, whether that is through the rediscovery of history and the resulting ramifications in the present; a closer inspection of self or an insight into the behaviours within the society which surrounds us.

Now in its 43rd year, the annual prize, worth £4,000 and run in association with JW3, is awarded to the best book, fiction or non-fiction, to translate the idea of Jewishness to the general reader.

The 2020 short-listed books are:


This year’s judging panel comprises critically acclaimed novelist and lecturer Dr Roopa Farooki; educator, writer and broadcaster Clive Lawton OBE; past Wingate Prize winner Philippe Sands QC and award-winning novelist Kim Sherwood.

Clive Lawton, chair of the judging panel says: “With an already very strong long list, cutting it down to the usual six for the short list was always going to be difficult … so difficult in fact, that we came up with a short list of seven.

“Our primary criterion was excellent writing, but we also needed to feel that there was a rich story to tell and, of course, one which threw light on the realities of Jewish life.

“Though we did not make our selection with any other criteria in mind, fortuitously and gratifyingly, we have a wonderfully balanced short list of male and female authors, fiction and non-fiction, as well as books that explore the contemporary Jewish world and important aspects of the past. Reading these books has been an immense pleasure for all of the panel, but now comes the utterly challenging work of trying to decide which one wins.”

The Wingate Prize winner will be announced at an event at JW3 on March 16, 2020.

For press information contact Emma Shrimsley emma@shrimsley.com or for information about the prize contact Prize Director Juliet Simmons juliet@pieceofcake.tv


28th November 2019

LONG LIST ANNOUNCED FOR THE 2020 WINGATE PRIZE

Themes of identity, loss, love and last chances run through the 2020 Wingate Literary Prize long list.

Now in its 43rd year, the annual prize, worth £4,000 and run in association with JW3, is awarded to the best book, fiction or non-fiction, to translate the idea of Jewishness to the general reader.

This year’s 12-strong list includes seven works of fiction and five non-fiction books.

The 2020 long-listed books are:


This year’s judging panel comprises critically acclaimed novelist and lecturer Dr Roopa Farooki, educator, writer and broadcaster Clive Lawton OBE, past Wingate Prize winner Philippe Sands QC and award-winning novelist Kim Sherwood.

For press information contact Emma Shrimsley emma@shrimsley.com or for more information on the prize contact Prize Director Juliet Simmons juliet@pieceofcake.tv


24th June 2019

WINGATE LITERARY PRIZE 2020 JUDGES ANNOUNCED

Past Wingate Prize winner Philippe Sands QC joins critically acclaimed novelist and lecturer Dr Roopa Farooki; educator, writer and broadcaster Clive Lawton OBE and award-winning novelist Kim Sherwood as judges of the 2020 Wingate Literary Prize.

Now in its 43rd year, the annual £4,000 prize, run in association with JW3, is awarded to the best book – fiction or non-fiction – to translate the idea of Jewishness to the general reader.

As British Jewry’s most prestigious book award it attracts nominations from all over the globe.

Previous winners also include Amos Oz, Zadie Smith, Oliver Sacks, Otto Dov Kulka and David Grossman.

Prize chair Clive Lawton, who previously judged the award in 2013, comments: “The Wingate Prize has a long and prestigious history and I am delighted once again to be part of its judging panel.

“For more than four decades, this prize has celebrated the broad spectrum of outstanding writers who have elevated Jewish themes, making them accessible and captivating for the general reader. As a judging panel we bring diverse perspectives to the table; I am greatly looking forward to what I imagine will be very engaging - even challenging - conversations and debate as we work towards finding the next prize winner.”

The long list will be announced at the end of this year with the short list at the beginning of 2020 and the winner in the Spring.

Press information: Emma Shrimsley 07961 368481 emma@shrimsley.com
Follow the Wingate Literary Prize on Twitter @Wingateprize


Follow the JQ-Wingate Literary Prize on Twitter @JQWingate and find us on Facebook: JQWingate Prize

NOTES TO EDITORS


The Wingate Prize was established in 1977 by the late Harold Hyam Wingate. It is now known as the JQ-Wingate Prize and is being run in association with JW3, the Jewish Community Centre. The winner receives £4,000.

The Harold Hyam Wingate Charitable Foundation is a private grant-giving institution, established over forty years ago.

JW3 is the first Jewish Community Centre and arts venue of its kind to exist in London. The brainchild of Dame Vivien Duffield and created by a core capital grant from the Clore Duffield Foundation, the centre opened on the Finchley Road, NW3 in October 2013.



Copyright © 2002-2020 The Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation. All rights reserved. Registered Charity No: 264114