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And the winners of the 69th National Jewish Book Awards are. . .

Aaron Robertson

January 15, 2020, 12:56pm

Today, the Jewish Book Council revealed the winners of the 2019 National Jewish Book Awards, which span 24 categories. Winners include Bari Weiss, whose book How to Fight Anti-Semitism was written in the aftermath of the 2018 attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh; Dani Shapiro for her bestselling memoir Inheritance; and Ilya Kaminsky for his poetry collection Deaf Republic, which was also a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award for Poetry.

Biblical historian and translator Robert Alter took home a Lifetime Achievement Award. Alter’s annotated translation of the Hebrew Bible, published in 2018, has been hailed as a landmark achievement that centers the literary qualities of the text. The Alter Bible is also notable for being a one-man translation. Pamela Nadell received the Book of the Year Award for America’s Jewish Women, a 400-year history of Jewish women in the United States.

A selection of this year’s winners are featured below. You can find the full list here.


Jew­ish Book of the Year

Amer­i­ca’s Jew­ish Women: A His­to­ry from Colo­nial Times to Today
Pamela S. Nadell
W. W. Nor­ton & Company

Life­time Achieve­ment Award

The Hebrew Bible: A Trans­la­tion with Com­men­tary 
Robert Alter
W. W. Nor­ton & Company

Auto­bi­og­ra­phy and Memoir

Inher­i­tance: A Mem­oir of Geneal­o­gy, Pater­ni­ty, and Love
Dani Shapiro
Alfred A. Knopf


Touched with Fire: Mor­ris B. Abram and the Bat­tle against Racial and Reli­gious Dis­crim­i­na­tion
David E. Lowe
Potomac Books

Con­tem­po­rary Jew­ish Life and Practice

How to Fight Anti-Semi­tism 
Bari Weiss

Debut Fic­tion

Sarah Blake
River­head Books


Fly Already: Sto­ries 
Etgar Keret
River­head Books


The Guard­ed Gate: Big­otry, Eugen­ics and the Law That Kept Two Gen­er­a­tions of Jews, Ital­ians, and Oth­er Euro­pean Immi­grants Out of America
Daniel Okrent


Deaf Repub­lic
Ilya Kaminsky
Gray­wolf Press

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