12th April, 2021


Israeli writer Yaniv Iczkovits’ sweeping historical novel - The Slaughterman’s Daughter - has won the 2021 Wingate Literary Prize.

Described by critics as ‘highly relevant and resonant today’ despite its 19th Century setting, Iczkovits’ third novel, translated by Orr Scharf, was chosen from a short list which also includes: House of Glass by Hadley Freeman; On Division by Goldie Goldbloom; Nobody Will Tell You This But Me by Bess Kalb; Apeirogon by Colum McCann; When Time Stopped by Ariana Neumann, and We are the Weather by Jonathan Safran Foer.

Now in its 44th 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 was comprised of former Senior Rabbi to Reform Judaism Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner; broadcaster, writer and film-maker Bidisha; Booker-shortlisted author and Economist magazine culture editor A.D. Miller; and award-winning biographer and historian Anne Sebba.

The 2021 winner was announced during an online event with JW3, featuring the BBC’s Emily Kasriel in conversation with the judges and the short-listed authors.


The 2021 Wingate Literary Prize has generated a short list of seven books, which collectively reflect ‘the depths of Jewishness and Jewish life’.

Among the three works of fiction and four non-fiction, the authors cover a diverse range of subjects, from life in the American Charedi community to the Russian empire in the late 19th Century, to climate change and the Holocaust.

Now in its 44th 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 2021 short-listed books are:

The Wingate Prize winner will be announced during an event with the judges, hosted online by Wingate Prize and JW3, on March 7, 2021.

Wingate Literary Prize 2021

The Wingate Foundation invite submissions for the 2021 Literary Prize worth £4,000.

2021 will be the 44th year of the prize which has been awarded to an illustrious list of writers. In a year where so much has changed we are delighted that the Wingate Prize will continue and our judges look forward to reading all the wonderful books that will be submitted.


  1. Submissions (5 copies of each book) must be made no later than 10th July 2020. If you can additionally submit an electronic version of the publication please let us know.
  2. Books must be published between 1st September 2019 and 31st August 2020.
  3. Submissions should be of literary merit, contain Jewish content and stimulate interest in questions of Jewish concern among a wider reading public. They should be aimed at the general reader.
  4. Submissions must be published in English, whether originally or in translation for this publication.
  5. Books must be published, distributed or easily available in the UK and Ireland.
  6. Poetry submissions and children's books cannot be considered for this prize.
  7. The prize will be awarded in February/March 2021.

Please download the form and send it with submissions (5 copies required) to:

Download PDF File

Wingate Literary Prize 2021
C/O Judi Waldman
33 Athenaeum Road
N20 9AL

For questions and queries, please contact Juliet Simmons at juliet@pieceofcake.tv


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

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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 © 2002-2021 The Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation. All rights reserved. Registered Charity No: 264114