the Pulitzer Prize the winners were finally announced yesterday (May 9), with so many incredible journalists nominated, as well as authors of genius books. The coveted fiction award winner went to Joshua Cohen’s sixth novel The Netanyahus: the story of a minor and ultimately even negligible episode in the history of a very famous family.
Released in June 2021 by New York Review Books (US) and Fitzcarraldo Editions (UK), the book beat the finalists The little monkey by Francisco Goldman and track record by Gayl Jones.
Pulitzer wrote, “A biting, linguistically adept historical novel about the ambiguities of the Jewish-American experience, presenting ideas and disputes as volatile as its tightly wound plot.
This brilliantly funny novel tells the story of a Jewish historian named Ruben Blum living in New York City at the turn of the 1960s. Don’t twist it, though; he is a Jewish historian, but he is far from being an expert in Jewish history. Despite this, he is forced to be part of a hiring committee to consider the application of an Israeli scholar specializing in the Spanish Inquisition. Exiled from his native land, the mysterious Benzion Netanyahu brings his family, and Blum is expected to welcome these new guests – which he does, albeit reluctantly. What follows is a new challenge for Blum; facing the realities of his culture with the themes of Zionism, the Diaspora and the Holocaust.
Although it is a fictional account, Benjamin Netanyahu and his family are actually real people. Benzoin was an activist of revisionist Zionism before later becoming interested in medieval Spanish Jewry.
Cohen, New Jersey-born author – whose other books include Moving Kings, Book of Numbers, Witz, Other People’s Paradiseand Cadenza for Schneidermann’s Violin Concerto – also won the 2021 National Jewish Book Award for his latest work.
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Meanwhile, the Pulitzer Prize for Drama went to James Ijames’ play Fatty hamwhile frank: sonnets by Diane Seuss won the poetry prize, and the winning biography was Chase Me to My Grave: Memoirs of a Jim Crow South Artist by the late Winfred Rembert as told to Erin I. Kelly.
by Holly Mosley for www.femalefirst.co.uk