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"Home, Family, and Finding a Place to Belong" The 2019 Shortlists for the Vine Awards for Canadian Jewish Literature

Vine Awards for Canadian Jewish Literature, a unique suite of literary prizes that celebrate Canadian Jewish literature across five different genres, announced their shortlists yesterday. The nominated books are honoured for their literary excellence in exploring Jewish themes or subjects. 

The five winners, each of whom will receive $10,000 as part of their award, will be announced on October 23 at an Award Luncheon at the Windsor Arms Hotel in Toronto.

The 2019 Jury, composed of poet Ayesha Chatterjee, children’s author Melanie J. Fishbane, and novelist Eric Beck Rubin, selected the shortlists from more than 80 submissions from publishers across the country.

Fishbane praised the strength of the 2019 shortlists, saying they embody "the diversity of Canadian Jewish writing, characterized by the universal themes of home, family, and finding a place to belong. 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."

The Koffler Centre of the Arts, which administers the Vine Awards, gratefully acknowledged donors Lillian and Norman Glowinsky for making the awards possible. Koffler Centre Executive Director, Karen Tisch said, "We are deeply grateful to our lead donors, Lillian and Norman Glowinsky, for supporting these awards... Their generosity provides vital support and recognition to writers exploring Jewish perspectives and themes within the context of broader Canadian narratives." The awards are named in honour of Lillian’s parents, Helen and Stan Vine. 

The 2019 Vine Awards Shortlists:


  • Claire Holden Rothman, Lear’s Shadow (Penguin Random House Canada)
  • Aaron Kreuter, You and Me, Belonging (Tightrope Books)
  • Natalie Morrill, The Ghost Keeper (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.)


  • Anne Michaels, Infinite Gradation (Exile Editions)
  • Sarah Weinman, The Real Lolita (Knopf Canada)
  • Lezli Rubin-Kunda, At Home: Talks with Canadian Artists about Place and Practice (Goose Lane Editions) 


  • Linda Frank, Divided (Wolsak and Wynn Publishers)
  • Anne Michaels, All We Saw (McClelland & Stewart)
  • Suzannah Showler, Thing Is (McClelland & Stewart)


  • Benjamin Carter Hett, The Death of Democracy (Allen Lane Canada/Penguin Random House Canada)
  • Robert Harris, Song of a Nation: The Untold Story of Canada’s National Anthem (McClelland & Stewart)
  • Sarah Wobick-Segev, Homes Away from Home: Jewish Belonging in Twentieth Century Paris, Berlin and St. Petersburg (Stanford University Press) 

Children’s/Young Adult

  • Jonathan Auxier, Sweep (Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers)
  • Cary Fagan, Wolfie and Fly: Band on the Run (Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers)
  • Ellen Schwartz, Princess Dolls (Tradewind Books)

For more information, please visit the Koffler Centre website.