Francesca Segal to Receive Harold U. Ribalow Prize


October 30, 2013


Max Samis, Rabinowitz Communications,, (202) 265-3000, (202) 681-2528

Francesca Segal to Receive Harold U. Ribalow Prize

Author of The Innocents Bestowed Annual Literary Award

New York – Acclaimed author Francesca Segal joins an illustrious list of awardees today as Hadassah Magazine honors her with this year’s Harold U. Ribalow Prize. For the past 30 years, Hadassah Magazine has honored an author who has created an outstanding work of fiction on a Jewish theme, and Segal will be honored December 4th in New York.

“We are thrilled to honor Francesca Segal with the Ribalow Prize,” said Marcie Natan, National President of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America. “Ms. Segal’s extraordinary talent is evident to all who have read her first novel, and the world she has created of an English community still dealing with the ramifications of the Holocaust is truly remarkable. We look forward to seeing her career blossom over the coming years, enhanced with our magazine’s coveted award.”

The Innocents, Segal’s debut novel published by Hyperion Books, is a modern take on Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence that moves the setting from New York to North West London’s upper-crust Jewish community. Segal describes a community with deep bonds of family and tradition, one still haunted by the shadow of the Holocaust. In addition to the Ribalow Prize, The Innocents has been honored with the 2013 National Jewish Book Award for Fiction, the 2013 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, the 2012 Costa First Novel Award and numerous other awards.

“Winning the Ribalow Prize is an absolute honor,” said Segal. “It is a privilege to win an award like this and to have this novel embraced by the Jewish community. A prize like this can truly be career-changing. I’m so grateful to Hadassah, Hadassah Magazine and the entire Ribalow Prize community.”

Segal joins a long line of renowned authors who have won the Ribalow Prize from the award-winning Hadassah Magazine, including Jonathan Safran Foer, Nathan Englander and last year’s winner Edith Pearlman. Segal was chosen by an independent panel of judges including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Weisel, Pulitzer Prize winner N. Scott Momaday, and Jonathan Freedman. The other finalists for this year’s prize were When We Argued All Night by Alice Mattison and By Blood by Ellen Ullman.

The prize will be presented at a ceremony on Wednesday, December 4 at 3:00pm at the UJA-Federation Building at 130 East 59th Street, New York. Press is encouraged to attend and coverage is welcome. Ms. Segal is currently available for interview as well as around the time of the ceremony.

About the Author: Francesca Segal studied at St Hugh’s College, Oxford, before becoming a journalist and writer. Her work has appeared in Granta, Newsweek, the Guardian, the Financial Times, and Vogue UK and US, amongst many others. She has been a features writer at Tatler, and for three years wrote the Debut Fiction column in the Observer.

About the Award: Hadassah Magazine’s annual literary award for outstanding Jewish fiction was established in 1983 by the friends and family of the late Harold U. Ribalow, an editor, writer and anthologist known for his passion for Jewish literature and his interest in promoting the work of many now-famous writers. Ribalow was inducted posthumously into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2009 for his contributions to society through sports writing.

About Hyperion:
Hyperion is a division of Hachette Book Group (HBG), a leading trade publisher based in New York, part of Hachette Livre, the third-largest trade and educational publisher in the world. HBG’s other publishing divisions are Little, Brown and Company, Little Brown Books for Young Readers, Grand Central Publishing, Hachette Nashville, Orbit, and Hachette Digital. For more information, visit or


1983 Chaim Grade

Rabbi and Wives


1984 Francine Prose

Hungry Hearts


1985 Max Apple

Free Agents


1986 Lore Segal

Her First American


1987 Aharon Appelfeld

To the Land of the Cattails


1988 Anne Roiphe



1989 Anita Desai

Baumgartner’s Bombay


1990 Lynne Sharon Schwartz

Leaving Brooklyn


1991 Michelle Herman 



Sandra Shor

The Great Letter E


1992 Louis Begley

Wartime Lies


1993 Merrill Joan Gerber

The Kingdom of Brooklyn


1994 Carol de Chellis Hill

Henry James’ Midnight Song


Michael Blumenthal

Weinstock Among the Dying


1995 Magda Bogin

Natalya, God’s Messenger

Special Award to

Henry Roth


1996 Benjamin Taylor

Tales Out of School


1997 Robert Cohen

The Here and Now


1998 Anne Michaels

Fugitive Pieces


1999 Richard Teleky

The Paris Years of Rosie Kamin


2000 Todd Gitlin



2001 Myla Goldberg

Bee Season


2002 Elizabeth Rosner

The Speed of Light


2003 Jonathan Safran Foer

Everything Is Illuminated


Aryeh Lev Stollman

The Illuminated Soul


2004 Joseph Epstein

Fabulous Small Jews


2005 Jenna Blum

Those Who Save Us


2006 Tamar Yellin

The Genizah at the House of Shepher


2007 Dara Horn

The World to Come


2008 Nathan Englander

The Ministry of Special Cases


2009 Peter Manseau

Songs for the Butcher’s Daughter


2010 Sara Houghteling

Pictures at an Exhibition


2011 Howard Jacobson

The Finkler Question


2012 Edith Pearlman

Binocular Vision


Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, is the largest women’s Zionist membership organization in the United States, and was founded in 1912. 330,000 members, associates, and supporters strong, Hadassah is now in its second century, growing our commitment to innovative and life-changing medical care and research, women’s empowerment, education, advocacy, philanthropy and building Jewish identity – in Israel, America and around the world. For more information, visit

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