Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize
The Kafka Prize Winner for Fiction Published in 2011
The 2011 Recipient of the
Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for Fiction by an American Woman is Amy Waldman for her first novel, The Submission.
Meet the author!
On Thursday, October 4, 2012 Waldman will visit Rochester for a reading and award ceremony, followed by an hors d’oeuvres reception and book signing at the University of Rochester's Interfaith Chapel. The event begins at 5:00pm. Books will be available for purchase, provided by the Barnes and Noble Campus Bookstore.
About the Book
The Submission, Amy Waldman’s first novel, was published in 2011. It was named a finalist for the Hemingway Foundation/PEN First Fiction Award; a New York Times Notable Book for 2011; one of National Public Radio’s Ten Best Novels; Esquire‘s Book of the Year; Entertainment Weekly‘s #1 Novel for the Year; a Washington Post Notable Fiction Book; and one of Amazon’s Top 100 Books and top ten debut fiction. It was a finalist for the Guardian (UK) First Book Award and was long listed for the Orange Prize. It has been or will be published in Brazil, Italy, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, India, South Africa, Canada, Japan, Portugal, Sweden, Norway, and the Netherlands.
"The winner, unanimously selected by a panel of three reviewers from nearly 100 entries, is The Submission, a first novel by Amy Waldman. Its title refers to the winning entry of an anonymously judged contest of architectural designs for the construction of a 9/11 memorial in New York City; the early revelation that the winner is an imaginiative but stubborn secular Muslim-American architect named Mohammed Kahn places the judges' panel at the epicenter of a dynamic tension that ripples and reverberates throughout the city, state, and nation. With taught but lyrical prose, the author captures the painful ambiguities that swirl in our cultural melting pot, seasons with issues of fairness, politicas, and stereotypes (both perceived and represented) as she embraces her rich and varied characters in an unpredictable but unforgettable story." - Professor Terry Platt, Kafka Prize Committee Member
About the Author
Amy Waldman was a reporter for The New York Times for eight years. She spent three years as co-chief of the South Asia bureau after covering Harlem, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and the aftermath of 9/11. She was also a national correspondent for The Atlantic. She has been a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and at the American Academy in Berlin. Her fiction has appeared in the Boston Review and The Atlantic, and was anthologized in The Best American Non-Required Reading 2010. She lives with her family in Brooklyn.
About the Award
Since 1976, the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women's Studies and the Department of English at the University of Rochester have awarded the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for fiction by an American woman. The idea for the prize came out of the personal grief of the friends and family of a fine young editor who was killed in an automobile accident just as her career was beginning to achieve its promise of excellence. She was 30 years old, and those who knew her believed she would do much to further the causes of literature and women. Her family, her friends, and her professional associates in the publishing industry created the endowment from which the prize is bestowed, in memory of Janet Heidinger Kafka and the literary standards and personal ideals for which she stood.
Each year a substantial cash prize is awarded annually to a woman who is a USA citizen, and who has written the best book-length work of prose fiction, whether novel, short stories, or experimental writing. We are particularly interested in calling attention to the work of a promising but less established writer.
About the Committee
This year's Committee members were:
- Kathy McGowan, Education and Women's Studies Librarian, Rush Rhees Library
- Terry Platt, Professor of Biochemistry and Biology, University of Rochester
- Kathryn Mannheimer, Associate Professor of English, University of Rochester