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Yorkshire writer wins $100k

by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2007-03-22

Tamar Yellin

Tamar Yellin

A British woman from Yorkshire has scooped $100,000 by becoming the first winner of an international Jewish book award.

Tamar Yellin won the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish literature for her book The Genizah at the House of Shepher which explores how a women traces the origins of a handwritten bible that is discovered and has a deep history associated with it.

Yellin, with a father from Jerusalem and a mother from Polish immigrants grew up in Yorkshire and become fascinated by her background which she has constantly explored through her works. Her other work includes Kafka in Brontëland and other stories which explores Jewish roots.

"Yellin combines formidable Jewish scholarship with soaring lyricism.  And, if scholarship and lyricism aren’t enough, she also displays a wonderfully quirky sense of humor," said judge Rebecca Goldstein. "This is a writer who can do it all, bring history lovingly into the present and conjure an art of beauty and light out of the ardors of scholarship.”

As well as the main winner, the Prize also saw two runner-up awards worth $7,500 going to Amir Gutfreund for Our Holocaust and Michael Lavigne, for Not Me.

All three winners will attend a celebration event in New York on May 21.