Author Ilan Sheinfeld is the recipient of the 2021 Brenner Prize for Literature
The award judges wrote: “The Jewish monk was chosen from 90 prose books, all published last year. When we hear the word “anusim” (forced converts), we immediately think of the Spanish and Portuguese marranos. In a voluminous novel, rich in detail and spanning several generations, Ilan Sheinfeld expands our awareness and tells the story of anusim in South America.
“Throughout the novel, Ilan Sheinfeld focuses on one figure, Francisco Maldonado da Silva, the son of a doctor and a physician himself, who since discovering his Jewish roots has endured a continuous cycle of suffering, torture, promises and temptations, all designed to bring him back to the Church in which he was lifted up. His firm adherence to his principles did not falter until the end. Her executioner, the Chief Inquisitor of the Tribunal Don Mañozca, is a complex figure who is drawn to the Jewish doctor, and just as one has returned to his Judaism in heart and soul, the other is trying to heart and soul to bring him back from his ‘heresy’. The prolonged confrontation between the two is filled with conversations, gripping life stories, debates and arguments about religion and rituals, with high-ranking Christian theologians enlisted to help Don Mañozca persuade Francisco and bring him back. to the Church.
The Brenner Prize is also awarded to a first novel by authors under the age of 40. Sixteen novels competed for the prize, and the winner was Boaz Danon for his book Like an Egg (Pardes Publishing), which will receive 10,000 ILS.
This year’s judges were Israel Prize winner Professor Ziva Shamir, Professor Nitza Ben Dov, and Hebrew Writers Association vice-president Dr Dorit Silverman. Observer: Meir Uziel, Center Peres. The Monetary Prize has been presented annually since 1945, courtesy of Rachel and Moshe Yanai.
Ilan Sheinfeld was born in Ramat Hasharon (1960). He holds an MA in Hebrew Literature, Literary Theory and English Literature from Tel Aviv University (1988) and graduated from Yuval Hamon Theater Writing School, Tel Aviv (2006), and from Idit Shchori Screenwriting School, Tel Aviv (2007).
Ilan is an author and poet, editor and publisher, public relations specialist, and professor of creative writing. He was one of the first in Israel to come out of the closet and is a longtime activist in the LGBTQ community. Ilan is the proud single father of ten year old surrogate twins in India, and they have lived in Tuval in the Galilee for five years.
Ilan is the author of 29 books, plays and screenplays, including the bestselling A Tale of a Ring, which has been translated into English and Spanish, When the Dead Came Back, The Jewish Pirate’s Wife and The Jewish Monk , books of poetry and children’s books, guides for writers and novels. Over the past decade, he has also written a personal blog about his life as a single father and author. Ilan is one of the founders of the Democratic Party and heads its cultural forum.
He is the two-time recipient of the Prime Minister’s Prize for Hebrew Literary Works and the Kugel Prize for Literature, and the KKL-JNF Goldberg Foundation Literary Prize, an award for his play Mermaids at the Setting the Stage Festival, Beit Lessin Theater, and a grant to develop the play from the Yehoshua Rabinovich Foundation for the Arts and Theater Beit Lessin, an honorable mention for his play Packages at the Tzav Kria festival, at the Tzavta theater and numerous other prizes and awards. The film Boxes, for which he wrote the screenplay, was directed by Doron Alon, and won the Best Short Film Award at the Berlin Independent Film Festival, and the Best Foreign Film Award at the Canberra Short Film Festival.