AUSTIN RATNER WINS
THE $100,000 2011 SAMI ROHR PRIZE FOR JEWISH LITERATURE
FOR DEBUT NOVEL THE JUMP ARTIST
2011 AWARD CEREMONY TO BE HELD MAY 31 IN NEW YORK CITY
March 22, 2011 (New York, NY) – The Jewish Book Council today named Austin Ratner the winner of the $100,000 2011 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature in fiction for his debut novel The Jump Artist (Bellevue Literary Press ). The Jewish Book Council is also pleased to announce Joseph Skibell, author of A Curable Romantic (Algonquin Books), isthe 2011 runner-up and recipient of the $25,000 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature Choice Award. Established in 2006, the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature is the largest monetary award of its kind given to writers of exceptional talent and promise in early career.
Hailed as a transformative award for emerging writers, the annual Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature honors the contribution of contemporary writers in the exploration and transmission of Jewish values and is intended to encourage and promote outstanding writing of Jewish interest in the future. Fiction and non-fiction books are considered in alternate years.
The Jump Artist was featured in Publishers Weekly in spring 2009 as one of 10 promising debut novels. Based on the true story of Phillipe Halsman, a man who Adolf Hitler knew by name, who Sigmund Freud wrote about in 1930, and who put Marilyn Monroe on the cover of Life magazine, the novel has been called “a remarkable work…[that] documents a triumph of the human spirit over tremendous adversity” (Harper’s Magazine), and an “elegantly written tribute [that] makes as beautiful a use of the darkness and light of one man’s life as a Halsman photograph of a pretty young woman” (GQ).
The finalists for the fifth annual Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature are:
Allison Amend – Stations West (Louisiana State University Press)
Nadia Kalman- The Cosmopolitans (Livingston Press)
Julie Orringer—The Invisible Bridge (Knopf)
By virtue of being named a Rohr Prize finalist, these writers are welcomed into the fellowship of a foremost Jewish literary community. The winners, finalists, judges and advisory board members of the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature meet biennially at the Sami Rohr Jewish Literary Institute, a forum devoted to the continuity of Jewish literature. The Institute, run under the auspices of the Jewish Book Council, creates an environment in which established and emerging writers can meet and exchange ideas and perspectives. Within a short period of time, the Sami Rohr Jewish Literary Institute has become an important meeting place for the leading lights of the American Jewish literary world.
For more information about The Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, please click here!