Sands and Gundar-Goshen win JQ Wingate Literary Prize

Sands and Gundar-Goshen win JQ Wingate Literary Prize

Philippe Sands [pictured] and Ayelet Gundar-Goshen have been chosen as joint winners of the Jewish Quarterly Wingate literary prize (worth £4,000). 

Sands won for East West Street: On the Origins of Crimes Against Humanity (W&N), the winner of the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction, with Israeli writer Gundar-Goshen recognised for her novel Waking Lions (Pushkin Press), translated by Sondra Silverston.

The chair of the judges Bryan Cheyette, professor of modern literature at the university of Reading, described Waking Lions, a literary thriller about a doctor's choice after a hit-and-run involving an African migrant, as "an incredibly compelling and enjoyable read which tackles an unsettling issue which engages with the ethical core of present-day Israel."

Of Sands' book, Cheyette said: "East West Street is such a tremendously accomplished and beautifully written work, important on so many levels as a memoir, a history of the term genocide and of why human rights are crucial today." 

Sands and Gundar-Goshen’s books were victorious on a shortlist that also included The Crime and the Silence by Anna Bikont, translated by Alissa Valles (Windmill);  Final Solution: The Fate of the Jews 1933-1949 by the late David Cesarani (Macmillan); and All for Nothing by Walter Kempowski, translated by Anthea Bell (Granta).

The annual JQ Wingate prize, run in partnership with Jewish cultural centre JW3, is awarded to the best book or books, fiction or non-fiction, of Jewish interest, for the general reader. This year it marks its 40th anniversary.