Local writer Elizabeth Graver has added to the list of prestigious awards for “Kantika,” a stirring work of historical fiction about a Sephardic Jewish woman born in Constantinople at the turn of the last century.
Graver’s compelling novel was recognized on Monday, Jan. 29, as an honor winner of the Jewish fiction award by the Association of Jewish Libraries, which named James McBride as the top winner for “The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store.” The awards will be presented at the AJL’s 2024 conference in June in San Diego.
Earlier, “Kantika” won a National Jewish book award and the Edward Lewis Wallant award for Jewish fiction. It was also named a best book of the year by National Public Radio and a New York Times notable book.
Inspired by Graver’s grandmother, “Kantika” follows the life of Rebecca Cohen, an extraordinary journey of displacement and migration through Spain, Cuba and the U.S.
Another noteworthy local book award winner is Jeremy Eichler, a cultural historian and the Boston Globe’s music critic who won the National Jewish Book Award for “Time’s Echo: The Second World War, the Holocaust, and the Music of Remembrance.” The poignant work explores the music and lives of composers Benjamin Britten, Arnold Schoenberg, Dmitri Shostakovich and Richard Strauss. Θ