Mark Thompson wins 2015 Jan Michalski Prize for Literature

Mark Thompson, author of Birth Certificate: The Story of Danilo Kiš, has been named as the winner of the 2015 Jan Michalski Prize for Literature given by the Jan Michalski Foundation.

From the Foundation’s press release: “The Jan Michalski Prize for Literature is awarded each year by the Foundation to crown a work of world literature. An original feature of the Prize is its multicultural nature. It is open to authors from the world over and is intended to contribute to their international recognition. The Prize is awarded for a work of fiction or non-fiction, irrespective of the language in which it is written. The winner receives an amount of CHF 50,000 [USD 48,600 at today’s exchange rate], offering the possibility of greater dedication to her or his writing. To make up the jury, the Foundation has invited exceptional writers who are multilingual, selected for their knowledge of various literary genres, but particularly for their cultural openness.”

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Mark Thompson wins 2015 Jan Michalski Prize for Literature

Marina Rustow named 2015 MacArthur Fellow

Congratulations to Marina Rustow, author of Heresy and the Politics of Community: The Jews of the Fatimid Caliphate, who has been named a 2015 MacArthur Fellow on the basis of her work with the Cairo Geniza texts. From the MacArthur Foundation’s description of Rustow’s work:

“In Heresy and the Politics of Community: The Jews of the Fatimid Caliphate (2008), Rustow focuses on the period from 909 to 1171 C.E. and upends long-accepted ideas about the relationship between two rival Jewish communities under Fatimid rule. Prior historians, basing their interpretation on literary polemics, had depicted the Rabbanites and Karaites (or Qaraites) of Egypt and Syria as factions bitterly divided by theological difference, the latter branded as heretics and marginalized. Rustow examined nonliterary Geniza documents (such as letters, legal contracts, and state petitions and decrees) and revealed a wealth of social, economic, and political transactions between the two groups. The finding calls into question the depth of the religious schism, suggesting a higher level of tolerance and cooperation than had been assumed.”

Marina Rustow named 2015 MacArthur Fellow

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