Natan and the Jewish Book Council are thrilled to announce the Spring 2022 Natan Notable Book: Michael Frank’s One Hundred Saturdays: Stella Levi and the Search for a Lost World (Avid Reader Press/Simon & Schuster, September 2022).
Natan Notable Books at the Jewish Book Council has previously been awarded to Bari Weiss’ How to Fight Anti-Semitism (2019), Susie Linfield’s The Lion’s Den (2019), Ilan Stavans’ The Seventh Heaven (2020), Nancy Sinkoff’s From Left to Right (2020), and Dara Horn’s People Love Dead Jews. Natan Notable Books is an evolution of the Natan Book Award, which was previously awarded to Matti Friedman’s Spies of No Country (2018) and Ari Shavit’s My Promised Land (2013).
Twice a year, Natan Notable Books recognizes recently published or about-to-be-published non-fiction books that promise to catalyze conversations aligned with the themes of Natan’s grantmaking: reinventing Jewish life and community for the twenty-first century, shifting notions of individual and collective Jewish identity, the history and future of Israel, understanding and confronting contemporary forms of antisemitism, and the evolving relationship between Israel and world Jewry.
In One Hundred Saturdays, Michael Frank unearths and reveals – week by week, Saturday after Saturday — the lives, culture and history of the Jewish community of Rhodes. Through the stories and memories of one of its members, Stella Levi, the vibrancy of the Juderia — the Jewish neighborhood in Rhodes that had existed for half a millennium until the Nazis deported the entire community to Auschwitz — and of Stella herself jump off the page. Stella shines as a storyteller and as a character, as she relates her life in Rhodes, her community and its history, bringing the reader into a Jewish world that few have knowledge of today.
As Tali Rosenblatt-Cohen, a co-chair of the Natan Notable Books committee, observed, “One Hundred Saturdays recounts in stunning detail the Jewish customs, folklore and habits of the Jewish community in Rhodes who had lived in near isolation since the Spanish Inquisition. In bringing this world to life, and in conveying the brutal swiftness with which it was destroyed, Frank and Levi remind us of all that we will never know about our histories — both personal and collective. Natan is eager to highlight that in addition to this being the story of one woman’s tenacity in the face of the Holocaust, the book is also an urgent reminder of the rich and varied worlds that were lost to us in the 20th century.”
The author will receive a $5,000 cash prize, as well as customized support for promoting the book and its ideas, drawing on Natan’s and Jewish Book Council’s extensive networks throughout the Jewish philanthropic and communal worlds.
The deadline for submission for Fall 2022 Natan Notable Books is October 1, 2022, for non-fiction titles published for the first time between April 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023.