National Jewish Book Award for Debut Fiction Winners Discuss

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2018 Award Winner and 2019 Book Fair alum Bram Presser

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.

2019 Award Winner Sarah Blake

  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:



Jul 06 2020


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National Jewish Book Award for Debut Fiction Winners Discuss