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Here are the winners of the inaugural Silvers-Dudley Prizes for criticism and journalism.


January 5, 2022, 2:03pm

Today, the Robert B. Silvers Foundation announced the winners of the inaugural Silvers-Dudley Prizes, recognizing outstanding achievement in criticism and journalism. Named for Robert B. Silvers, a founding editor of the New York Review of Books, and his longtime partner, Lady Grace Dudley, the prizes have a total value of $135,000 and range from $10,000 to $30,000 each.

“These prizes richly reward a kind of writing that has long been under-recognized in the economy of literary prize-giving—long-form criticism, the intellectual essay, and arts writing—along with the penetrating journalism that Bob nurtured at the New York Review,” said author and critic Daniel Mendelsohn, Director of the Robert B. Silvers Foundation. “In his will, Bob stipulated that the Foundation work to “support writers”; with these new prizes, we like to think we’re doing just that—both encouraging younger critics, essayists, and reporters and recognizing writers who have made such significant contributions in the genres that Bob and Grace—a passionate enthusiast of the arts loved and cared about so deeply.”

Without further ado, here are the winners of the Silvers-Dudley Prizes:


The 2021 Robert B. Silvers Prize for Literary Criticism
recognizing achievement in longform literary criticism and the intellectual and cultural essay

Elaine Blair, Los Angeles-based critic

Merve Emre, associate professor of American Literature at Oxford University

Becca Rothfeld, Cambridge-based critic

The 2021 Grace Dudley Prize for Arts Writing
recognizing achievement in critical writing on the fine and performing arts or on cultural history

Vinson Cunningham, staff writer and theater critic for The New Yorker

Jason Farago, critic at large for the New York Times

Ingrid Rowland, Rome-based Renaissance art specialist

The 2021 Robert B. Silvers Prize for Journalism
recognizing achievement in reporting, long-form political analysis, or commentary

Alma Guillermoprito, Mexican journalist and author

Nesrine Malik, London-based columnist for The Guardian and Foreign Policy and panelist on the BBC’s Dateline London

Thomas Meaney, Berlin-based writer on politics and literature


Congratulations to all recognized!

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