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Canadian Jew Pick Scores Man Booker Longlist

‘Far to Go’ tells of Czech Jews in the 1930s

Marc Tracy
July 26, 2011
Alison Pick (and friend) reading in 2009.(igmagogon/Flickr)
Alison Pick (and friend) reading in 2009.(igmagogon/Flickr)

The Man Booker Prize longlist dropped today, and, as with the 13 names we were offered around this time last year, it is pretty clear whom Tablet Magazine is backing. The young Canadian author Alison Pick told the Forward earlier this year that she did not learn of her Jewish heritage until she was a young adult, and in fact nor did her father, who was informed by a tour guide at Prague’s famed Jewish cemetery that Pick is a Jewish name. She has since converted to Judaism, and her longlisted Far to Go, which won the Canadian Jewish Book Award, is about secular Czech Jews in the 1930s.

The Jews have a hot streak at the normally cold playing Man Booker field. Most recently, Philip Roth was given the biennial International Prize. And last year’s Man Booker, of course, went to Howard Jacobson for The Finkler Question.

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.