Feet of Clay, by Beatrice Baltuck Garrard (pictured above), has won the first ever Amy Levy Prize – a new award given to a writer under the age of 30, addressing a Jewish theme. Tum Balalaika by Michelle Samuels has received the second prize and Garden Hose by Talya Zax was commended.
A distinguished panel of judges was headed by Naomi Alderman, winner of the Orange Prize for New Writing. The panel included novelist and journalist, Adam LeBor; literary critic and chair of Jewish Quarterly Advisory Board, David Herman; academic, Nadia Valman; and Rabbi Baroness Julia Neuberger DBE.
The Amy Levy Prize is a new award for young, unpublished writers sponsored by Jewish Quarterly and JW3. The award is designed to create a platform for writing by Jewish authors or about Jewish communities, life and culture. With a cut-off age of 30, it is the first international Jewish writing prize specifically aimed at making a difference in the early career of young writers. The winner receives a cash prize of £1,000, one week’s writers’ residency, and one year’s mentoring by Naomi Alderman.
About Feet of Clay, Alderman said, “It weaves the legend of the golem with the destruction of Prague during the Second World War. We were particularly impressed with Beatrice Baltuck Garrard’s brilliantly evocative language and the strange otherworldly narrative voice of the golem to whom the world entire is new and unimagined. Garrard’s 12-year-old female Kabbalah scholar is a brilliantly original character of whom we’d love to see more.”
Beatrice Baltuck Garrard is an undergraduate student of history and Yiddish literature at Stanford University. She was raised on Jewish folklore and Russian fairytales, along with a generous helping of Star Trek!