Women’s Ordeals Dominate Jewish Book Awards


New York — The National Jewish Book Council today announced the winners of its awards for Best Fiction and Best Nonfiction. The nonfiction prize went to “Shmata Hari: The Spy Who Wore Rags, by Mae Meriva.” The scholarly work, published by Judaica Wine Press, was selected from over 60 nominees.

The 200-page tome details how an Israeli secret operative spied on Arab platoons during the Six-Day War in 1967, averting suspicion by dressing in old, torn clothing to make herself “look shlumpy.”

The fiction award went to “Baruchus My Tuchus,” a novel by Don Anochi about a rabbi who harnesses the power of prayer to overcome an irritating case of hemorrhoids.

Special awards were given in the new category of Women’s Ordeals, and included “Bossypants,” the diary of the first woman president of Orthodox congregation Ahavas Kesef; “The Girl Who Played With Fire in the Hornet’s Nest With A Tattoo,” the conflated Swedish trilogy and inexplicably successful saga of a troubled young arsonist who’s not fond of men; “What To Expect When You Expect Your Self-Help Book on Pregnancy to Be On The Best-Seller List Forever”; and “The Immortal Life Of Henrietta’s Slacks,” the true story of a woman’s pants that were extensively worn without her permission in 1951.

The winning authors will each receive the good wishes of an impoverished publishing industry.