News and Interviews

The Vine Awards for Jewish Literature Announces 2018 Shortlists

Today the Koffler Centre of the Arts announced the shortlists for the 2018 Vine Awards for Canadian Jewish Literature. The jury, made up of writers Beverley Chalmers, Joseph Kertes, and Lee Maracle, praised the 2018 finalists for their "marvellous talent" and their emotional impact, saying "these are books about the universals—hope, love, despair, fear, fun—what it feels like to be alive for anyone". 

The Vine Awards are a unique set of prizes that reward literary excellence in Canadian writing by Jewish authors or dealing with Jewish themes. Four categories are awarded each year (fiction, non-fiction, history, and young adult/children's literature), with an additional poetry prize presented in alternating years. Each genre comes with a $10,000 award for the winner. 

Represented on the shortlists are a diverse group of publishing houses, including independents like Biblioasis, Inanna Publications, and Second Story Press; academic publishers Oxford University Press, University of Nebraska Press, and University of Ottawa Press; and multinational imprints such as McClelland & Stewart, Allen Lane, and Penguin Random House. 

The 2018 winners will be announced on October 11 at an Award Luncheon at Toronto's historic Windsor Arms Hotel. 

Vine Award for Fiction shortlist:

  • The Other Mrs. Smith by Bonnie Burstow (Inanna Publications)
  • Class Mom by Laurie Gelman (Henry Holt and Company)
  • So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum (McClelland & Stewart)

Vine Award for Non-Fiction shortlist: 

  • Buried Words: The Diary of Molly Applebaum by Molly Applebaum (The Azrieli Foundation)
  • The Handover by Elaine Dewar (Biblioasis)
  • Siberian Exile: Blood, War, and a Granddaughter’s Reckoning by Julija Sukys (University of Nebraska Press) 

Vine Award for History Writing shortlist: 

  • Not in My Family: Germany Memory and Responsibility After the Holocaust by Roger Frie (Oxford University Press)
  • The Blue Shirts: Adrien Arcand and Fascist Anti-Semitism in Canada by Hugues Théoret (University of Ottawa Press)
  • In the Name of Humanity: The Secret Deal to End the Holocaust by Max Wallace (Allen Lane)

Vine Award for Children’s & Young Adult Literature shortlist:

  • Maud by Melanie Fishbane (Penguin Random House)
  • To Look a Nazi in the Eye: A Teen’s Account of a War Criminal Trial by Kathy Kacer (Second Story Press)
  • Rare is Everywhere by Deborah Katz (Miss Bird Books)

The Vine Awards for Canadian Jewish Literature are made possible by a generous donation by the Lillian and Norman Glowinsky Family Foundation to support Canadian Jewish literature, a tradition they established with the original awards in 2004, building on the Canadian Jewish Book Awards founded in 1988 by Adam Fuerstenberg. The Vine Awards are a loving tribute to Lillian’s parents – Helen and Stan Vine – who were passionate about the arts and the Jewish community throughout their lives. 

Congratulations to all the shortlisted authors and their publishers!