The longlist has been unveiled for the £4,000 (about $5,130) Wingate Literary Prize, awarded to "the best book, fiction or nonfiction, to translate the idea of Jewishness to the general reader." A shortlist will be announced in early February the winner named March 16. The longlisted titles are:
Where to Find Me by Alba Arikha
Kafka's Last Trial: The Case of a Literacy Legacy by Benjamin Balint
Kaddish.com by Nathan Englander
A Stranger City by Linda Grant
Liar by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen
Live a Little by Howard Jacobson
Survival of the Jews in France, 1940-1944 by Jacques Semelin, translated by Natasha Lehrer and Cynthia Schoch
Inheritance by Dani Shapiro
Lake Success by Gary Shteyngart
Katalin Street by Magda Szabo, translated by Len Rix
The Photographer at Sixteen by George Szirtes
The Order of the Day by Eric Vuillard, translated by Mark Polizzotti
The winner of the 2019 Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year is The Dirt Hole and Its Variations, a re-released classic hunting and trapping guide by Charles L Dobbins. The Bookseller, which sponsors the prize, reported that the winning title "swept away the competition, claiming 40% of the public vote." Catherine Donnelly's Ending the War on Artisan Cheese was second (24%), followed by Xanna Eve Chown's Noah Gets Naked (18%).
Horace Bent, administrator of the prize, said: "Once again it has been a standout year for this, the world's most prestigious literary gong. I salute the late, great Charles L Dobbins, The Dirt Hole... and all its many beautiful variations, although I doubt the variations are beautiful to the foxes, bobcats and coyotes they are designed for. I also tip my hat to Dobbins for contributing a number of Diagram-worthy odd titles to the world."
Because no prize could be given to the author, Dennis Drayna, who nominated this year's winner, was awarded the traditional "passable bottle of claret."