19th March, 2019

Wingate Literary Prize 2019

‘FOUND TREASURE’ WINS 2019 JQ WINGATE LITERARY PRIZE

Françoise Frenkel’s rediscovered Holocaust memoir No Place to Lay One’s Head has been named winner of the 2019 JQ Wingate Literary Prize.

Jewish bookseller Frenkel escaped Berlin for France in 1939, before fleeing once more for Switzerland. Her account of her desperate flight from the Nazis was first printed in 1945; it vanished from public view before being rediscovered in 2010 in a car boot sale in southern France. Its English version, translated by Stephanie Smee, was published in 2018, 43 years after the author’s death.

Described by judges as ‘a found treasure… filled with wisdom and hope’, Frenkel’s memoir was chosen from a short list which also included The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin; Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday; Eternal Life by Dara Horn; Evacuation by Raphael Jerusalmy (translated by Penny Hueston) and Memento Park by Mark Sarvas.

Now in its 42nd year, the JQ 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 past JQ Wingate Literary Prize winner Thomas Harding together with best-selling children’s author Francesca Simon; JHub Director and JDOV founder Shoshana Boyd Gelfand and critic and literary editor Arifa Akbar.

Chair of judges Shoshana Boyd Gelfand said: “No Place to Lay One’s Head captured our hearts on so many levels. First of all, it is the memoir of an extraordinary woman who set up the first French-language bookshop in Berlin soon after the First World War. This in itself would have made her a fascinating character and her story worth reading. In addition, her compelling narrative of how she navigated the world she loved as it disintegrated around her, is told with poignancy and extraordinary empathy for those who helped her hide and escape.

“What also stood out for us was the fact that Françoise Frenkel’s memoir was originally published in French in 1945 and then forgotten in the post-war haze. Only recently was a copy discovered by chance and translated to English. So this is not only a redemptive story of refugees and fleeing terror, but also a reminder that books too can cross borders and speak to new generations, if only they fall into the hands of those to whom the book is dedicated: men and women of good will. We are therefore deeply grateful to the publisher and to the translator, Stephanie Smee, for recognizing in this book a precious gift from the past, and for redeeming a voice that is as relevant today as it was when it was written.”

Speaking in response, publisher of Pushkin Press Adam Freudenheim said: ‘On behalf of Françoise Frenkel, who died over 40 years ago at which time this book was out of print and entirely forgotten, I’m delighted that her memoir, penned shortly after her dramatic escape from Vichy, France, to Switzerland during WWII, has received this year’s JQ Wingate Prize. It is also a testament to Stephanie Smee’s fine translation, which allows it to reach a worldwide readership. Frenkel’s passion for books and for literature but above all for life is an inspiration to all of us, now more than ever.”

This year’s winner was announced at JW3, following a discussion evening, with the 2019 judging panel, looking at the significance of a specifically Jewish prize and the joys, challenges and considerations of judging it. The BBC’s Emily Kasriel chaired the event.

The Jewish Quarterly 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.

Ends

For press information contact Emma Shrimsley 07961 368481 emma@shrimsley.com

SHORT LIST ANNOUNCED FOR JQ WINGATE LITERARY PRIZE

The 2019 JQ Literary Wingate Prize has generated a short-list of six books, dominated by fiction and female authors.

This year's short-listed books, which include five novels and one memoir, are:


Now in its 42nd year, the JQ Wingate Prize, worth £4,000 and run annually 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 winner of the 2019 prize will be announced during an event with the judges at JW3 on Monday February 25. The evening will be chaired by the BBC's Emily Kasriel. JW3 Prize Event

JQ WINGATE LITERARY PRIZE 2019 LONG LIST ANNOUNCED

The judges and trustees of the JQ Wingate Literary Prize are delighted to announce the 2019 long list.

Now in its 42st 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 13-strong list includes 7 works of fiction and 6 non-fiction:


Commenting on the long list, chair of judges Shoshana Boyd Gelfand said: “Part of the joy - and the challenge - of judging the JQ Wingate Prize is the diversity of the books that meet the criteria. This year’s entries certainly didn’t disappoint on that front and narrowing the field down to just 13 books was a difficult task.

“In the end, we chose seven novels which are vastly different in terms of themes, settings, and style. What they have in common is their literary merit and a profound message. As for the six non-fiction books that made the long list, they are even more diverse although two are diaries from the Second World War that have just been translated into English. The panel felt that both these lost voices from the past deserved to be recognised and heard again. The other non-fiction books similarly brought a unique and fresh approach to their subject matter, whether that was contemporary Israel or Jewish family life.

“Israel, history, faith and family are recurring leitmotifs throughout the list – but if there is one overriding theme it is the breadth and diversity of Jewish identity which is looked at through various lenses by our long list authors. We hope this list will encourage readers to connect and explore their own questions around the richness and diversity of Jewish identity. And of course, we hope they will enjoy these books as much as we have.”

The short list will be announced mid-January and the winner will be announced at an evening event at JW3 on Monday February 25. More details here.

For press information contact Emma Shrimsley by emailing emma@shrimsley.com and for prize information contact Juliet Simmons by emailing juliet@pieceofcake.tv.


September 13, 2018

JUDGES ANNOUNCED FOR 2019 JQ WINGATE LITERARY PRIZE

Former JQ Wingate Literary Prize winner Thomas Harding joins the panel of judges for the 2019 prize together with best-selling children’s author Francesca Simon; JHub Director and JDOV founder Shoshana Boyd Gelfand and critic and literary editor Arifa Akbar.

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.

Chair of Judges Shoshana Boyd Gelfand said: ‘For over four decades the JQ Wingate prize has celebrated the diversity of literature which encompasses Jewish themes, as well as the talent of the remarkable writers who make these themes so accessible. I know I speak for all of us on the panel when I say that we are all thrilled to be judging this prestigious prize. We are looking forward to some intensive reading and interesting discussions in the months to come.’

The long list for the prize will be announced at the end of this year with the short list at the beginning of 2019 and the winner in the Spring 2019.

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


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 © 2002-2019 The Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation. All rights reserved. Registered Charity No: 264114