INSPIRATION AWARD FOR FICTION
In lieu of the annual fiction Prize, and in celebration of the 15th anniversary of the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, the Sami Rohr Inspiration Award for Fiction was created in 2021.
"In centering on the question of who can claim to be Kafka’s true heirs, the trial in Jerusalem threw into stark relief the very different ways Israel and Germany remain freighted by their ruptured pasts... Does Kafka’s beguiling legacy belong to German literature or to the state that regards itself as the representative of Jews everywhere?"
-Kafka's Last Trial
Michael David Lukas
"Whatever comes of these pages, I have found satisfaction in writing them.In my research and in the shape of my days, in the wheat-starch paste and the acid-free thread, in the long hours hunched over ancient paper and my walks home along the River Cam, I have found myself…"
-Joseph, The Last Watchman of Old Cairo
Spiegel & Grau
"These are the texts that I will come back to and the texts that have come back to me, woven together and spread out before you with trembling hands."
- If All the Seas Were Ink
St. Martin's Press
"She pulled out her notebook to steady herself with a little fantasy, to disappear for just a moment into the relief of make-believe--into the plea hidden in every fiction for immortality."
-Emma, Ways to Disappear
Little, Brown & Company
Lisa Moses Leff
"Szajkowski's story resonates far beyond French Jewish history, because it forces us to reconsider our understanding of the very nature of archives."
- The Archive Thief
Oxford University Press
"She loved and hated Jerusalem: a city that would forever be contested, forever divided, never at peace. But there was more to Jerusalem than what one saw in the news, like how beautiful it was, not in the way BC was, but in a hard, raw and broken way. How it felt alive, a kind of beast, pulsating, breathing, vibrating under her feet."
- Naomi, The Best Place on Earth
Harper Collins Canada
"Perhaps it is difficult to grasp, in our times, how a book could elicit such passion. The codex had outlived the age of its creation, when a book was an object of vast worth, a product of great craftsmanship and scholarship, and a repository of irreplaceable knowledge. It had...retained its singular value because of the zealousness of its keepers; there were no known copies."
- The Aleppo Codex
"So many questions she had not had time to ask him and this the most important of all. And so she was left to keep a Jewish home, to visit the silent Hoop Lane Jewish Cemetery, and to wonder."
- Michelle, The Innocents
"Living in a totalitarian state, these were people who decided, almost out of nowhere, to assert an ancient identity, turn themselves into pariahs, risk everything, and become living proof of man's capacity for bravery--all so they could simply be Jews."
- When They Come for Us, We'll Be Gone
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
"He wished he could go back there now, to the edge of the birch forest where the gnats tumbled in the light of the sunset, back to that place where he's gotten lost chasing a butterfly in the woods and Papa had come for him, crashing through the weeds in the red shirt with the
- Phillipe, The Jump Artist
Bellevue Literary Press
"Yet they looked beyond the needs of the moment and sought to lay the groundwork for a different kind of Jewish future--one in which Jews as individuals, liberated from inner crisis and outer siege, might engage the full range of creative possibilities, questions, and freedoms that modernity offers."
- Jewish Renaissance in the Russian Revolution
Harvard University Press
Sarah Abrevaya Stein
"A history of Jews' involvement in the global flow of goods suggests that Jewishness and commerce could have been shaped in dialogue, rather like Jewish and political identities were dialogic in so many modern contexts."
Yale University Press
"We drove alongside the river, which reflected the dull luster of the sky. I'd noticed that even without clouds, the sky was rarely transparent. During my first few days in Moscow the pollution had felt suffocating, but now it seemed to add a sawdust luminosity to the city."
- Narrator, One More Year
Spiegel & Grau
Lucette Lagnado z”l
"Malaka Nazli hadn't simply been a place, I realized, but a state of mind. It was where you could find an extraordinary, breathtaking level of humanity...mercy and compassion and tenderness and grace, those ethereal qualities that make and keep us human."
- The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit
"I am pleased with my purchase; full of the latent challenge which comes from acquiring a new volume. New vistas are opening before me. I am buzzing, deep down in the pit of my stomach, with an excited thrill."
- Shulamit, The Genizah at the House of Shepher