New novelist vies with Bellow, Roth for Koret prize

Nominees in the biography, autobiography and literary studies category are Naomi W. Cohen's "Jacob H. Schiff: A Study in American Jewish Leadership," Sidra DeKoven Ezrahi's "Booking Passage: Exile and Homecoming in the Modern Jewish Imagination," Cynthia Ozick's "Quarrel and Quandary: Essays" and Ruth R. Wisse's "The Modern Jewish Canon: A Journey Through Language and Culture."

History finalists are Mitchell B. Hart's "Social Science and the Politics of Modern Jewish Identity," Ephraim Kanarfogel's "Peering Through the Lattices: Mystical, Magical, and Pietistic Dimensions in the Tosafist Period" and David B. Ruderman's "Jewish Enlightenment in an English Key: Anglo-Jewry's Construction of Modern Jewish Thought."

In the philosophy and thought category, the finalists are David Novak's "Covenantal Rights: A Study in Jewish Political Theory," Kenneth Seeskin's "Searching for a Distant God: The Legacy of Maimonides," Susan Sered's "What Makes Women Sick? Maternity, Modesty, and Militarism in Israeli Society" and Shubert Spero's "Holocaust and Return to Zion: A Study in Jewish Philosophy of History."

The awards were established three years ago by the San Francisco-based Koret Foundation in cooperation with the National Foundation for Jewish Culture in New York. Winners in the four categories each will receive a $10,000 prize at a New York award reception in April.