Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
The Schmooze

Shalom Auslander Wins JQ-Wingate Prize

Shalom Auslander was awarded the Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Prize — the United Kingdom’s top prize for Jewish literature — for his debut novel, “Hope: a Tragedy”, at a February 27 event at London’s Jewish Book Week.

Image by FRANCO VOGT

Diana Reich, chair of the JQ-Wingate Prize judging panel, praised Auslander’s work as “bursting with raw talent, shockingly irreverent, [and] studded with comic brilliance and unbearable poignancy.”

Auslander’s novel was selected from a shortlist of six books and a wider field of around 70 works, both fiction and non-fiction. Other nominations included “Scenes from Village Life” by Amos Oz, “Foreign Bodies” by Cynthia Ozick, which had also been shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, and the Man Booker Prize-nominated “Swimming Home” by Deborah Levy.

In a pre-recorded acceptance speech shown in his absence, after expressing surprise that neither Hilary Mantel nor Junot Diaz had beaten him to it, “since they seem to win everything,” Auslander said that he was “conflicted about the award” since he was raised to believe that “every time things went well, you knew things were going to go very poorly right away afterward.”

“I’m very happy to have my work recognised,” Auslander added, “but God-wise I’m kind of fucked. I’ll be dead this time next week I have no doubt about it. So, really, thanks for nothing.”

The JQ-Wintage Prize, established in 1977, is awarded annually to the best work authored by “Jewish and non-Jewish writers that explore themes of Jewish concern.” The award, sponsored by the Harold Hyam Wingate charitable foundation, comes with a $6,000 prize. Previous winners include Amos Oz, David Grossman, Etgar Keret, Zadie Smith and Howard Jacobson.

Watch Shalom Auslander’s Acceptance Speech:

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.