2012 Roger Shattuck Prize for Criticism: Ruth Franklin & David Yaffe
Wednesday May 30, 2012
This year's recipients of the Roger Shattuck Prize for Criticism are Ruth Franklin, author of A Thousand Darknesses: Lies and Truth in Holocaust Fiction, and David Yaffe, author of Bob Dylan: Like a Complete Unknown. Franklin and Yaffe offered their own perspectives on the changing landscape of criticism. This annual prize, which includes a $5,000 cash award, is devoted to bringing the best writing by early career critics into the spotlight.
The Center for Fiction is extremely grateful to the Shattuck family for supporting the prizes, named in honor of Roger Shattuck, one of America's most provocative literary critics, essayists, and, for many, the most penetrating interpreter of Proust in our time. This year's recepients, Ruth Franklin and David Yaffe, were presented with the award at this evening's ceremony and the event was followed by a wine reception. Professor, critic and author Morris Dickstein presented David Yaffe with the prize, and agent Sarah Burnes of The Gernert Company presented the prize to Ruth Franklin. To learn more about the Shattuck Prize please visit our award page.
Ruth Franklin is a literary critic and senior editor at The New Republic, where she has been on staff since 1999. Her first book, A Thousand Darknesses: Lies and Truth in Holocaust Fiction, was a finalist for the 2012 Sami Rohr Prize in Jewish Literature and was cited by The Atlantic as “a towering work of criticism and insight.” She has written for many publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Book Review, Bookforum, The Washington Post, Slate, Granta, the Jewish Review of Books, and Salmagundi, to which she contributes a regular film column. She is currently at work on a biography of the American writer Shirley Jackson, for which she has just been named a 2012 Guggenheim Fellow.
David Yaffe was born in Dallas, TX and received his B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and his Ph.D. in English from the CUNY Graduate Center. He is the author of Fascinating Rhythm: Reading Jazz in American Writing (Princeton, 2006) and Bob Dylan: Like a Complete Unknown (Yale, 2011). He is currently at work on Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, forthcoming). He is a professor of English at Syracuse where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on 20th and 21st Century American fiction, poetry, music, and creative nonfiction. He is a music critic for The Nation and has also written for Harper's, Slate, The New York Times, New York, The Village Voice, The New Republic, Bookforum, The Chronicle of Higher Education Review, and other publications.