The Edward Lewis Wallant Award

About the Award
The Edward Lewis Wallant Award is presented annually to an American writer whose published creative work of fiction is considered to have significance for the American Jew.

The award was established shortly after the untimely death in December 1962 of Edward Lewis Wallant, gifted author of The Human Season and The Pawnbroker, by Dr. and Mrs. Irving Waltman of West Hartford. The Waltmans were prompted to create this memorial because of their admiration for Edward Wallant's literary ability.

A panel of three critics serves as judges, and they seek out a writer whose fiction bears a kinship to the work of Wallant, and preferably an author who is younger and unrecognized. Among those who have received the award in past years are: Leo Litwak, Chaim Potok, Cynthia Ozick, Curt Leviant, Thane Rosenbaum, Myla Goldberg, Jonathan Rosen, and Nicole Krauss.

2010 Recipient
Julie OrringerThe 2010 Edward Lewis Wallant Award recipient is Julie Orringer, for her debut novel, The Invisible Bridge.

Visit Julie's Web site

Julie Orringer is the author of The Invisible Bridge, a novel (Knopf, 2010), and How to Breathe Underwater, a short story collection (Knopf, 2003). Her stories have been published in The Yale Review, where they've twice been awarded the Editors' Prize for best story of the year; the Paris Review, which awarded her the Discovery Prize in 1998; Ploughshares, which selected her work for the Cohen Award for Best Fiction;Zoetrope All-Story, which nominated her for a National Magazine Award; and by the Washington Post Magazine. She is the recipient of two Pushcart Prizes, and her work has appeared in numerous anthologies, including The Granta Book of the American Short Story, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, and The Scribner Anthology of American Short Fiction.e i

Shs a 1996 graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she held a two-year Creative Writing Teaching Fellowship. She was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford from 1999-2001, and was Stanford's Marsh McCall Lecturer in Fiction from 2001-2003. Her short story collection, How to Breathe Underwater, won the Joseph Henry Jackson Award and the Northern California Book Award; it was a San Francisco Chronicle and LA Times Best Book of the Year and a New York Times Notable Book. Stories from the collection have been presented on NPR's "Selected Shorts" and BBC Radio 4, have been read at the Steppenwolf Theater's Stories on Stage, made into short films, and adapted into full-length plays presented by Word for Word Theater Company in San Francisco. The book has been translated into Spanish, French, German, Dutch, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, and Italian. In 2006 it was selected for Stanford's Three Books series, which made it required reading for all Stanford freshmen.

Orringer received a 2004-5 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for The Invisible Bridge. She continued work on the novel with the assistance of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony in the summers of 2005 and 2006, and from the Corporation of Yaddo in the summer of 2007; in 2006 she won the Anne and Robert Cowan Writers' Award from the Jewish Community Foundation. Orringer has been the Distinguished Visiting Writer at St. Mary's College of California and California College of the Arts, and was the Helen Herzog Zell Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Michigan. From 2008-9 she was the Rona Jaffe Foundation Fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York public library, and in the fall of 2009 she taught at Columbia University. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, the writer Ryan Harty, and she is at work on a novel about Varian Fry.

The Invisible Bridge

Paris, 1937. Andras Lévi, a Hungarian-Jewish architecture student, arrives from Budapest with a scholarship, a single suitcase, and a mysterious letter he has promised to deliver to C. Morgenstern on the rue de Sévigné. As he falls into a complicated relationship with the letter's recipient, he becomes privy to a secret history that will alter the course of his own life. Meanwhile, as his elder brother takes up medical studies in Modena and their younger brother leaves school for the stage, Europe's unfolding tragedy sends each of their lives into terrifying uncertainty. At the end of Andras's second summer in Paris, all of Europe erupts in a cataclysm of war.

From the small Hungarian town of Konyár to the grand opera houses of Budapest and Paris, from the lonely chill of Andras's room on the rue des Écoles to the deep and enduring connection he discovers on the rue de Sévigné, from the despair of Carpathian winter to an unimaginable life in forced labor camps and beyond, The Invisible Bridge tells the story of a love tested by disaster, of brothers whose bonds cannot be broken, of a family shattered and remade in history's darkest hour, and of the dangerous power of art in a time of war.

Expertly crafted, magnificently written, emotionally haunting, and impossible to put down, The Invisible Bridge resoundingly confirms Julie Orringer's place as one of today's most vital and commanding young literary talents.

Read more reviews

Submission Guidelines
New submissions are welcomed annually. The deadline for submissions is November 1 of each calendar year. For more information, please contact Avinoam Patt, Ph.D., Feltman Professor of Modern Jewish History and Coordinator of the Wallant Award Committee at the University of Hartford at MGCJS@hartford.edu.

Past Recipients
YEAR AUTHOR TITLE
2009 Sara Houghteling Pictures at an Exhibition
2008 Eileen Pollack In the Mouth
2007 Ehud Havazelet Bearing the Body
2006 No Award
2005 Nicole Krauss The History of Love
2004 Jonathan Rosen Joy Comes in the Morning
2003 Joan Leegant An Hour in Paradise
2002 Dara Horn In the Image
2001 Myla Goldberg Bee Season
2000 Judy Budnitz If I Told You Once
1999 Allegra Goodman Kaaterskill Falls
1998 No Award
1997 Harvey Grossinger The Quarry
1996 Thane Rosenbaum Elijah Visible
1995 Rebecca Goldstein Mazel
1994 No Award
1993 Gerald Shapiro From Hunger
1992 Melvin Jules Bukiet Stories of an Imaginary Childhood
1991 No Award
1990 No Award
1989 Jerome Badanes The Final Opus of Leon Solomon
1988 Tova Reich Master of the Return
1987 Steve Stern Lazar Malkin Enters Heaven
1986 Daphne Merkin Enchantment
1985 Jay Neuseboren Before My Life Begins
1984 No Award
1983 Francine Prose Hungry Hearts
1982 No Award
1981 Allen Hoffman Kaganís Superfecta
1980 Johanna Kaplan O My America
1979 No Award
1978 No Award
1977 Curt Leviant The Yemenite Girl
1976 No Award
1975 Anne Bernays Growing Up Rich
1974 Susan Fromberg Schaeffer Anya
1973 Arthur A. Cohen In the Days of Simon Stern
1972 Robert Kotlowitz Somewhere Else
1971 Cynthia Ozick The Pagan Rabbi
1970 No Award
1969 Leo Litwak Waiting for the News
1968 No Award
1967 Chaim Potok The Chosen
1966 Gene Hurwitz Home Is Where You Start From
1965 Hugh Nissenson A Pile of Stones
1964 Seymour Epstein Leah
1963 Norman Fruchter Coat Upon a Stick


About the Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies
The Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies is devoted to teaching and original research in Judaic Studies from the Biblical to the modern periods. Faculty from around the world have created programs that are diverse and stimulating to the student body.

Founded in 1985 by a major endowment, the Center offers you an opportunity to choose from a rich array of exciting classes in six different areas: History, Bible, Jewish Law and Literature, Hebrew and Yiddish.

As part of the Greenberg Center's Spring 2011 schedule, The Invisible Bridge will also be taught as part of Feltman Professor Avinoam Patt's JS/ENG 325, American Jewish Novel.
The class meets on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 9:30-10:20am.