The winning author, Etgar Keret, was awarded £4,000 prize money.
The 2008 shortlist was as follows:
• Phillippe Grimbert – Secret, published by Portobello
• Etgar Keret – Missing Kissinger, published by Chatto & Windus
• Philip Davis – Bernard Malamud, published by Oxford
• Tom Segev – 1967, published by Abacus
Commenting on the winning book Judge Francine Stock said:
“Judges of literary prizes always say the decision was hard. With the JQ Wingate Prize we had to choose between four outstanding books of distinct and frankly incomparable types. In the end, we made our choice according to the criteria of the prize. Etgar Keret’s short stories are not only of literary merit, they do truly ‘stimulate an awareness of and interest in themes of Jewish concern among the wider reading public.”
Keret’s stories are sudden, sharp, funny, upsetting and unforgettable. They take us inside the obsessions and neuroses of modern Israel and then swoop outside and prod them in a way that is both hilarious and painful.”
The winner of the Jewish Quarterly Wingate Prize was announced today at an awards ceremony at Daunt Books in Marylebone High Street, London. These highly prestigious awards are the only awards in the UK to recognise major works, by Jewish or non-Jewish authors, that stimulate an interest in and awareness of themes of Jewish concern among a wider reading public.
Previous winners include Zadie Smith, Amos Oz, David Bezmozgis, David Grossman, Amos Elon, WG Sebald, Sebastian Haffner and Imre Kertesz.
The prize is sponsored by the Harold Hyam Wingate Charitable Foundation, and this year’s impressive judging panel includes TV presenter Francine Stock, actress and director Janet Suzman, culture commentator Norman Lebrecht and playwright Bernard Kops.