Edmund de Waal, Nicole Krauss and Martin Puchner are among 13 authors longlisted for the Wingate Literary Prize with their "powerful expressions of the diversity of Jewish experience".
Now in its 45th year, the annual prize, worth £4,000 and run in association with community and arts centre JW3, is awarded to the best book, fiction or non-fiction, to translate the idea of Jewishness to the general reader.
Among the seven works of fiction and six of non-fiction there are authors from the UK, Europe, Israel and America.
This year's longlist features de Waal's Letters to Camondo (Chatto & Windus), To Be a Man by Krauss (Bloomsbury Publishing) and The Language of Thieves by Puchner (Granta). Joining them are At Night’s End by Nir Baram, translated by Jessica Cohen (Text Publishing), Cesare by Jerome Charyn (No Exit Press), Judaism for the World by Arthur Green (Yale University Press) and The Lost Shtetl by Max Gross (Harper Via).
Also on the list are More Than I Love My Life by David Grossman, translated by Jessica Cohen (Jonathan Cape), The Happiest Man on Earth by Eddie Jaku (Pan Macmillan), Anyone Who Utters a Consoling Word is a Traitor by Alexander Kluge, translated by Alta L Price (Seagull Books), The Ravine by Wendy Lower (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), The Last Interview by Eshkol Nevo, translated by Sondra Silverston (Other Press), and Ethel Rosenberg by Anne Sebba (Orion).
This year’s judging panel is comprised of New Statesman political editor Stephen Bush, senior rabbi of the S&P UK Sephardi community Joseph Dweck, award-winning novelist and short story writer M J Hyland and Women’s Prize-longlisted author and journalist Jemma Wayne.
Dweck, chair of the panel, said: “Wingate doesn’t just recognise excellence in Jewish literature, it celebrates the rich diversity of Jewish life, creativity and thought. The entries this year represented that significantly. Our longlist was a real challenge to distil, as we had to choose 13 titles from some 70 entries.
“The authors we chose come from Israel, America, Germany and the UK. These works, seven fiction and six non-fiction, are quite diverse and speak to us from many varying angles and settings. All of them move us, intrigue us and stir our thought.
“During the selection process we recognised that the books on this list stood out because they lingered in our hearts and minds after we had read them. They stayed with us, so we have stayed with them. These titles take us into the depths and fullness of human experience: of pain, trial, excitement, beauty, heroism, wisdom, spirituality, mystery, identity, courage, and hope. These are great works of literature and powerful expressions of the diversity of Jewish experience.”
The shortlist will be announced in January and the winner revealed in February.