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The 2021 Sami Rohr Inspiration Award for Fiction was introduced to mark the 15th anniversary of the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. The $36,000 Award honors Nicole Krauss, an acclaimed author whose books have made a valuable contribution to Jewish literature and who serves as a role model to current and future Fellows of the Sami Rohr Jewish Literary Institute.

“I’m so grateful and touched to be the first recipient of the Sami Rohr Inspiration Award for Fiction,” said Nicole Krauss. “As a writer, I have never understood my own relationship to inspiration, or even what inspiration truly is.  But despite that uncertainty—or because of it—it is deeply moving to think that my books have inspired others. There is nothing more rewarding than that.”

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Photo by Goni Riskin

NICOLE KRAUSS is the author of the international bestsellers, Forest Dark and Great House, a finalist for the National Book Award and the Orange Prize. The History of Love won the Saroyan Prize for International Literature and France’s Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger, and was short-listed for the Orange, Médicis, and Femina prizes. To Be a Man, her first collection of short stories, was published in November 2020.

Her first novel, Man Walks Into a Room, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book of the Year in 2003. In 2007, she was selected as one of Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists, and in 2010 she was chosen by The New Yorker for their “Twenty Under Forty” list. Her fiction has been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s, Esquire, and The Best American Short Stories, and her books have been translated into 37 languages. She is the first Writer-in-Residence at the Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute at Columbia University. 


"Fifteen years after establishing the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature in celebration of our father's 80th birthday, we are delighted to present Nicole Krauss with the 2021 Inspiration Award for Fiction," said George Rohr. "We are certain that she will be a source of great encouragement to a new generation of emerging Jewish writers." 

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