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Elizabeth McCracken wins the 2024 Wingate Literary Prize

Elizabeth McCracken’s The Hero of This Book (Jonathan Cape) has won the Wingate Literary Prize, which is awarded each year to the best fiction or non-fiction book ‘to translate the idea of Jewishness to the general reader’. The brilliantly original, tender and comic novel takes the author-narrator’s Jewish mother as its subject, and interrogates grief, family relationships and what it means to write another’s life.

The judging panel, comprised of Benjamin Markovits, Ashley Hickson-Lovence, Natasha Solomons and Rabbi Lindsey Taylor-Guthartz, said of the book: ‘In a timely and timeless fashion, McCracken’s powerful writing lets you be privy to secrets you just want to shout about. A thoroughly involving read that wrestles with memory, illness, place and identity; The Hero of This Book is moving in every sense.’

Also shortlisted for the prize were Your Hearts, Your Scars by Adina Talve-Goodman, The Dissident by Paul Goldberg, Still Pictures by Janet Malcolm, Kosher Soul by Michael Twitty, and One Hundred Saturdays by Michael Frank.