Philippe Sands shortlisted for 2017's Jewish Quarterly Wingate Prize

Philippe Sands shortlisted for 2017's Jewish Quarterly Wingate Prize

Baillie Gifford Prize winner Philippe Sands has been shortlisted for the 2017 Jewish Quarterly Wingate Prize, awarded to the best book, whether fiction or non-fiction, to "translate the idea of Jewishness to the general reader". 

Sands is shortlisted for East West Street (W&N), the same book that earned him 2016's Baillie Gifford Prize in November - the £30k prize pot for which he promptly donated to charity, sparking a wave of charitable gestures from the prize's sponsors, chair of judges and Hachette.

East West Street: On the Origins of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity joins a shortlist of five "tremendously strong" books the judges said all bring a fresh perspective to the "dominant, pressing issues of today".

Three of the five works shortlisted are translations from their original language: The Crime and the Silence by Anna Bikont, translated by Alissa Valles (Windmill Books); Waking Lions by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen, translated by Sondra Silverston (Pushkin Press) and All for Nothing by Walter Kempowski, translated by Anthea Bell (Granta Books). 

Completing the shortlist is Final Solution: The Fate of the Jews 1933-1949 by David Cesarani (Macmillan).

The prize this year celebrates its 40th anniversary. Established in 1977, the annual prize is worth £4,000 and run in association with Jewish community centre JW3.

This year’s judging panel comprises playwright Amy Rosenthal; Granta Best of British Young Novelist Joanna Kavenna; Jewish Quarterly literary editor and translator Natasha Lehrer and Bryan Cheyette, professor of modern literature at the university of Reading. 

Chair of the judges Cheyette said: "We feel all five books are tremendously strong, any of which would make a worthy winner. While the majority are inspired by historical events, they are all focused on live issues which have a huge relevance to the world today and connect to the present-day reader – mass refugees, the horror of war and the denial of the humanity of others in the face of global indifference."

The 2017 prize winner will be announced on 23rd February at JW3 during an event, in association with Jewish Book Week, to mark 40 years of the JQ Wingate Prize. Past judges and winners will be joining journalist and Wingate trustee Emily Kasriel to discuss "What Makes a Book Jewish?".

A further anniversary event will be held on 2nd April, at JW3, that will see writer and broadcaster Tim Samuels launching a new book club, The Lit Café Book Club. It will celebrate past prize winners, among whose ranks are Amos Oz, Zadie Smith, Oliver Sacks, Otto Dov Kulka and David Grossman.