The awards were handed out for a variety of categories, including Contemporary Jewish Life and Practice, Fiction, History, and Jewish Book of the Year, among others. Headlining the awards this year were Aharon Appelfeld, picking up his third National Jewish Book Award in fiction for his novel Until the Dawn’s Light, Simon Sebag Montefiore, who won the Everett Family Foundation Jewish Book of the Year award for Jeruaslem: The Biography, and Art Spiegelman, who received the Biography, Autobiography and Memoir award for MetaMaus: A Look Inside a Modern Classic, Maus.
Jewish Book of the Year Award winner Jerusalem: The Biography is the epic tale of the city at the center of three religions, bringing the story of thousands of years of history to life. The New York Times called it “impossible to put down.” Art Spiegelman, winner for his memoir MetaMaus: A Look Inside a Modern Classic, Maus, is best known for his graphic novel, Maus, which tells the story of Spiegelman’s father, a Holocaust survivor. In the comic, Jewish people are depicted as mice, while Germans appear as cats. In this year’s memoir, Spiegelman revisits Maus and writes about the creative process behind the story, which was the only comic ever to win a Pulitzer Prize. Aharon Appelfeld, winner of the National Jewish Book Award for fiction, has written over a dozen novels. Until the Dawn’s Light, for which he was honored this year, tells the story of an Austrian Jewish man who married a gentile laborer in the early 1900s.
Other winners include A Guide to Jewish Practice: Everyday Living by Rabbi David A. Teutsch for the Myra H. Kraft Memorial award in the field of Contemporary Jewish Life and Practice, The Anatomy of Israel’s Survival by Hirsh Goodman for the Gerrard and Ella Berman Memorial Award in the field of History and Boxer, Beetle by Ned Beauman for the Foundation for Jewish Culture’s Goldberg Prize for Outstanding Debut Fiction.
The winners will be celebrated in a ceremony on March 14 at the Center for Jewish History in Manhattan. The awards presentation is free and open to the public and is co-hosted by Samuel G. Freedman, author of National Jewish Book Award-winner Jew vs. Jew and Abigail Pogrebin.
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