Berkeley writer wins book award

Alon Shalev, director of San Francisco Hillel, won the 2013 Eric Hoffer Award for Young Adult fiction for “At the Walls of Galbrieth,” which he describes as a Tolkien-esque fantasy novel. He wrote it while camping with his boys on Mount Shasta, something they do as a family every summer. And every summer he writes another young adult fantasy. He reads the manuscripts in progress to his two sons for their feedback during the camping trip.

“At the Walls of Galbrieth” was Shalev’s first epic fantasy novel; he released a sequel in March and expects to release a third book in the series in October. Shalev, of Berkeley, also has written three social-justice themed novels.

The Eric Hoffer Award recognizes the best short prose and books put out by independent publishers, in tribute to the 20th-century philosopher Eric Hoffer who was, in addition to other work,  a mid-century research professor at U.C. Berkeley.