Mar. 7, 2013 by David Low
The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University recently announced that Visiting Writer in English Adina Hoffman ’89 is one of the inaugural winners of the Windham Campbell Prizes. This new global writer’s award was created with a gift from the late Donald Windham and his partner, Sandy M. Campbell, and is now one of the largest literary prizes in the world.
Nine $150,000 prizes were awarded for outstanding achievement in fiction, nonfiction, and drama and recognize writers from all stages of their careers. The recipients range in ages from 33 to 87. Writers were considered from around the world. The prize jury in each category chose five finalists, from which the nine recipients were selected to receive awards.
Hoffman’s prize citation reads: “In a land where even the most cautious nonfiction can draw howls of protest, Adina Hoffman combines fastidious listening, even-handed research, and prose so engaged that it makes the long-vanished visible again.”
Hoffman is the author of House of Windows: Portraits from a Jerusalem Neighborhood and My Happiness Bears No Relation to Happiness: A Poet’s Life in the Palestinian Century. She is also the author, with Peter Cole, of Sacred Trash: The Lost and Found World of the Cairo Geniza, which was awarded the American Library Association’s Brody Medal for the best Jewish book of 2011. Hoffman has been a visiting professor at Middlebury, and NYU, as well as a Franke Fellow at Yale’s Whitney Humanities Center. The recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, she divides her time between Jerusalem and New Haven. She is currently at work on Where the Great City Stands: A Jerusalem Triptych, forthcoming from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.