Honouring the best Canadian Jewish literature in five categories, each with a prize of $10,000

The Koffler Centre of the Arts is proud to announce the winners of the 2019 Vine Awards for Canadian Jewish Literature. The Vine Awards honour exceptional Canadian Jewish writers and Canadian authors exploring Jewish subjects in five categories: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, History and Children’s/Young Adult, each with a prize of $10,000. 

The 2019 Vine Awards Winners are:

Fiction: Claire Holden Rothman, Lear’s Shadow (Penguin Canada)
“The writer’s command of the elements of the novel – setting, character, pace – are what distinguish this revision of Shakespeare by way of contemporary Montréal.” – The Vine Awards Jury

Non-Fiction: Anne Michaels, Infinite Gradation (Exile Editions)
“Infinite Gradation is grounded and informative as any non-fiction book but charged by high-flying contemplations that lift the mood and thoughts of the reader.” The Vine Awards Jury

Poetry: Linda Frank, Divided (Wolsak and Wynn Publishers) 
“Divided uses the power of poetry to analyse the relationship between humankind and nature in often devastatingly clear language. It documents with both beauty and dispassion the complexity of the animal world – including human beings – in a way that will resonate for a long time to come.” – The Vine Awards Jury

History: Benjamin Carter Hett, The Death of Democracy (Allen Lane Canada/Penguin Canada)
“The Death of Democracy, a briskly written history of the not-at-all inevitable transition from the Weimar Republic to fascist Germany, focuses on individuals in order to tell the story but also to remind us that it is the choices of individuals that make history.” – The Vine Awards Jury

Children’s/Young Adult: Jonathan Auxier, Sweep (Puffin Canada/Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers) 
“Blending fantasy, folklore and history, Jonathan Auxier’s Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster is a vivid re-imagining of the golem story set in Victorian London.” – The Vine Awards Jury

The 2019 Jury – poet Ayesha Chatterjee, children’s author Melanie J. Fishbane, and author Eric Beck Rubin – reviewed 84 entries. 

This year’s winning titles embody “the diversity of Canadian Jewish writing, characterized by the universal themes of home, family, and finding a place to belong,” said juror Melanie J. Fishbane. “These authors dive deep into generational trauma, challenge popular historical narratives, and ask the difficult questions about not only what it means to be Jewish, but to be human.”

“There were books whose style, authority and reach were outstanding,” added juror Eric Beck Rubin. “In all cases the jury’s consensus was based on a book's impact and effects on a reader, no matter how they were achieved.” 

Read more about the Vine Awards here.
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