The Edward Lewis Wallant Award
About the Award
The Edward Lewis Wallant Award is presented annually to an American writer whose published creative work of fiction is considered to have significance for the American Jew.
The award was established shortly after the untimely death in December 1962 of Edward Lewis Wallant, gifted author of The Human Season and The Pawnbroker, by Dr. and Mrs. Irving Waltman of West Hartford. The Waltmans were prompted to create this memorial because of their admiration for Edward Wallantís literary ability.
A panel of four critics serves as judges, and they seek out a writer whose fiction bears a kinship to the work of Wallant, and preferably an author who is younger and unrecognized. Among those who have received the award in past years are: Edith Pearlman, Julie Orringer, Sara Houghteling, Eileen Pollack, Ehud Havazelet, Leo Litwak, Chaim Potok, Cynthia Ozick, Curt Leviant, Thane Rosenbaum, Myla Goldberg, Jonathan Rosen, and Nicole Krauss.
2012 Recipient - Joshua Henkin
The 2012 Edward Lewis Wallant Award recipient is Joshua Henkin, for his novel, The World Without You
Visit Josh's Website, http://www.joshuahenkin.com/
Joshua Henkin is the author of the novels Matrimony, a New York Times Notable Book, and Swimming Across the Hudson, a Los Angeles Times Notable Book. His third novel, The World Without You, was published in June 2012 by Pantheon and has been named an Editors' Choice Book by The New York Times and The Chicago Tribune, in addition to being named the winner of the 2012 Edward Lewis Wallant Award. His short stories have been published widely, cited for distinction in BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES, and broadcast on NPR's "Selected Shorts." He lives in Brooklyn, NY, and directs the MFA program in Fiction Writing at Brooklyn College.
THE WORLD WITHOUT YOU is set over the July 4th weekend in 2005, as the Frankel family is descending upon their beloved summer home in the Berkshires. The family has gathered to memorialize Leo, the youngest of the four siblings, an intrepid journalist and adventurer who was killed a year ago on assignment in Iraq.
The parents, Marilyn and David, are adrift in grief. Their forty-year marriage is falling apart. Clarissa, the eldest sibling and a former cello prodigy, has settled into an ambivalent domesticity and is struggling at age thirty-nine to become pregnant. Lily, a fiery-tempered lawyer and the family contrarian, is angry at everyone. And Noelle, whose teenage years were shadowed by promiscuity and school expulsions, has moved to Jerusalem and become a born-again Orthodox Jew. The last person to see Leo alive, Noelle has flown back for the memorial with her husband and four children, but she feels entirely out of place. And Thisbe-Leo's widow and mother of their three-year-old son--has come from California bearing her own secret.
Set against the backdrop of Independence Day and the Iraq War, The World Without You is a novel about sibling rivalries and marital feuds, about volatile women and silent men, and, ultimately, about the true meaning of family.
Reviewers have unanimously praised the novel and Henkin's writing as "insightful[and] poignant" (New York Times Book Review), "Heart-searing, eye-tearing, and soul-touching," (Huffington Post), "Blazingly alive. . . Gorgeously written, and as beautifully detailed as a tapestry, Henkin delicately probes what these family members really mean to one another. . . . [C]ompassionate, intelligent, and shining" (The Boston Globe). Commentary Magazin writes "few American novelists, living or dead, have ever been as good as Henkin at drawing people." As a Wallant Award winner, Henkin joins a distinguished list of past award recipients, including Cynthia Ozick, Curt Leviant, Chaim Potok, Myla Goldberg, Dara Horn, Nicole Krauss, and Julie Orringer as well as last year's award winner, Edith Pearlman.
New submissions are welcomed annually. The deadline for submissions is November 1 of each calendar year. For more information, please contact Avinoam Patt, Ph.D., Feltman Professor of Modern Jewish History and Coordinator of the Wallant Award Committee at the University of Hartford at MGCJS@hartford.edu.
|2011||Edith Pearlman||Binocular Vision|
|2010||Julie Orringer||The Invisible Bridge |
|2009||Sara Houghteling||Pictures at an Exhibition|
|2008||Eileen Pollack||In the Mouth|
|2007||Ehud Havazelet||Bearing the Body|
|2005||Nicole Krauss||The History of Love|
|2004||Jonathan Rosen||Joy Comes in the Morning|
|2003||Joan Leegant||An Hour in Paradise|
|2002||Dara Horn||In the Image|
|2001||Myla Goldberg||Bee Season|
|2000||Judy Budnitz||If I Told You Once|
|1999||Allegra Goodman||Kaaterskill Falls|
|1997||Harvey Grossinger||The Quarry|
|1996||Thane Rosenbaum||Elijah Visible|
|1993||Gerald Shapiro||From Hunger|
|1992||Melvin Jules Bukiet||Stories of an Imaginary Childhood|
|1989||Jerome Badanes||The Final Opus of Leon Solomon|
|1988||Tova Reich||Master of the Return|
|1987||Steve Stern||Lazar Malkin Enters Heaven|
|1985||Jay Neuseboren||Before My Life Begins|
|1983||Francine Prose||Hungry Hearts|
|1981||Allen Hoffman||Kaganís Superfecta|
|1980||Johanna Kaplan||O My America|
|1977||Curt Leviant||The Yemenite Girl|
|1975||Anne Bernays||Growing Up Rich|
|1974||Susan Fromberg Schaeffer||Anya|
|1973||Arthur A. Cohen||In the Days of Simon Stern|
|1972||Robert Kotlowitz ||Somewhere Else|
|1971||Cynthia Ozick||The Pagan Rabbi|
|1969||Leo Litwak||Waiting for the News|
|1967||Chaim Potok||The Chosen|
|1966||Gene Hurwitz||Home Is Where You Start From |
|1965||Hugh Nissenson||A Pile of Stones|
|1963||Norman Fruchter||Coat Upon a Stick|
About the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies
The Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies is devoted to teaching and original research in Judaic Studies from the Biblical to the modern periods. Faculty from around the world have created programs that are diverse and stimulating to the student body.
Founded in 1985 by a major endowment, the Center offers you an opportunity to choose from a rich array of exciting classes in six different areas: History, Bible, Jewish Law and Literature, Hebrew and Yiddish.
As part of the Greenberg Center's Spring 2013 schedule, The World Without You will also be taught as part of Feltman Professor Avinoam Patt's JS/ENG 325, American Jewish Novel. The class meets on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 12:30-1:20pm.
The 2013 Edward Lewis Wallant Award Ceremony will take place on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 in Wilde Auditorium on the University of Hartford campus at 7:00pm. Free and open to the public. Reservations required. Call (860) 768-4964 for more information.