Israeli David Grossman wins Wingate Prize for army story

By Jennifer Lipman, June 7, 2011
David Grossman's winning book

David Grossman's winning book

An Israeli writer has won a £4,000 literary prize for his novel about a mother dealing with having a son in the IDF.

David Grossman was one of six writers of both fiction and non-fiction in the running for Jewish Quarterly-Wingate Literary Prize, which was presented last night in London.

Mr Grossman, who triumphed over Booker Prize winner Howard Jacobson and Anthony Julius, nominated for his comprehensive study of antisemitism, Trials of the Diaspora.

The prize, British Jewry's top literary award, has been described as the Jewish Booker and has been given out since 1977. Past winners include Mr Jacobson, Zadie Smith and neurologist Dr Oliver Sacks.

Lisa Appignanesi, who chaired the judging panel, said that all of the books shortlisted were outstanding. She added: "In a year which brings us David Grossman's To the End of the Land, the judges all concurred that this towering novel had to be the one."

In October, Mr Grossman was named the winner of a German peace prize. A high-profile figure on Israel's left, he wrote To the End of the Land in the wake of the loss of his own son, a soldier who was killed by a Hizbollah missile during the 2006 Lebanon War.

Last updated: 2:43pm, June 7 2011