NEW YORK–Hadassah Magazine is pleased to announce that Molly Antopol, author of the acclaimed short story collection The UnAmericans, is the winner of the 2015 Harold U. Ribalow Prize for Jewish fiction. For the past 31 years, Hadassah Magazine has awarded the Ribalow prize annually to an author who has created an outstanding work of fiction on a Jewish theme. Antopol will be honored at a ceremony in early December in New York.
"We are delighted to honor Molly Antopol," said Marcie Natan, National President of Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America. "Her honest, witty, heartbreaking and deeply satisfying stories make one nostalgic for another era of short fiction. We look forward to more works from this gifted writer, buoyed by our magazine’s prestigious award.”
In her first story collection, Antopol explores the everyday anxieties and complex past lives of immigrant, imperfect and inconforming characters from New York to California, from Prague to Tel Aviv. “In these stories, Antopol depicts with bold strokes and uncanny intelligence the intimate links between family, history, and politics, never failing to capture the grit and hurt of intergenerational confrontation,” wrote Diego Báez in Booklist.
Antopol’s book, published by W.W. Norton, was one of three nominated for this year’s Ribalow Prize. The other nominees were The Mathematician’s Shiva by Stuart Rojstaczer (Penguin/Random House) and The Betrayers by David Bezmozgis (Back Bay Books/Little Brown).The independent panel of judges for the prize consisted of Pulitzer Prize winner N. Scott Momaday, who has been on the panel for 15 years; 2014 Ribalow Award winner Helene Wecker; and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel, who has served on the panel for 30 years.
“I am thrilled to be this year's recipient of the Ribalow Prize,” said Antopol. “Many of the previous winners are among the writers whose books have been very meaningful to me over the years, and I greatly admire the work of the two other finalists. Enormous thanks to the Ribalow family and everyone at Hadassah, an organization whose important work I very much respect. Finally, thank you to the judges — the fact that such extraordinary writers connected to my stories is deeply moving, and a tremendous honor.”
About the Author:
Molly Antopol’s debut story collection,The UnAmericans, won the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award, a “5 Under 35” Award from the National Book Foundation, and the Ribalow Prize. The book was longlisted for the National Book Award and was a finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, the Barnes & Noble Discover Award, the National Jewish Book Award, the California Book Award, the Sami Rohr Prize and the Edward Lewis Wallant Award. Her writing has appeared in many journals and magazines and won a 2015 O. Henry Prize. She’s the recipient of a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship at Harvard and a Stegner Fellowship at Stanford, where she currently teaches.
About the Award:
Hadassah Magazine's annual literary award was established in 1983 by the friends and family of the late Harold U. Ribalow, an editor, writer and anthologist known for his passion for Jewish literature and his interest in promoting the work of many now-famous writers. Ribalow was inducted posthumously into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2009 for his contributions to society through sports writing.
W. W. Norton & Company is the nation’s largest independent, employee-owned book publishing house. Founded by William Warder Norton in 1923, the firm now publishes approximately 450 books annually in its combined divisions and continues to adhere to its original motto, “Books that Live,” striving to publish works of enduring distinction in the areas of nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and textbooks.