National Jewish Book Award for Debut Fiction Winners Discuss
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Semi-reformed punk rocker, recovering academic, lapsed criminal lawyer and one-time cartoon character, Bram Presser was born and still lives in Melbourne, Australia. For ten years, he schlepped around the world screaming into a rubber chicken with the iconic Jewish punk band, Yidcore, before turning to writing. Since then, his stories have appeared in Best Australian Stories, Award Winning Australian Writing, The Sleepers Almanac and Higher Arc. His debut novel, The Book of Dirt, was released to great acclaim and won the 2018 Goldberg Prize for Debut Fiction in the US National Jewish Book Awards, the 2018 Voss Literary Prize and three awards in the 2018 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards: the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction, the UTS Glenda Adams Award for New Writing and the People’s Choice Award.
In her debut novel, Naamah, Sarah Blake vividly conveys the story of Noah and the Ark from an unusual perspective — that of Noah’s wife, Naamah. Blake writes with strong, sensual, modern language, and utilizes time travel and dream sequences to create a multilayered story. With this book, Blake has taken one of the best-known biblical tales and opened it up in ways both inventive and provocative. Her next novel, Clean Air, is forthcoming from Algonquin Books in Fall 2021. Her poetry books include Mr. West and Let’s Not Live on Earth. Find out more at her website: sarahblakeauthor.com.