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Since 1976, the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women's Studies and the Department of English at the University of Rochester have awarded the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for fiction by an American woman. The idea for the prize came out of the personal grief of the friends and family of a fine young editor who was killed in an automobile accident just as her career was beginning to achieve its promise of excellence. She was 30 years old, and those who knew her believed she would do much to further the causes of literature and women. Her family, her friends, and her professional associates in the publishing industry created the endowment from which the prize is bestowed, in memory of Janet Heidinger Kafka and the literary standards and personal ideals for which she stood.

Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for Fiction WInners

2008: Saher Alam, The Groom to Have Been

2006: Jill Ciment, The Tattoo Artist

2004: Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, Madeliene Is Sleeping, Harcourt, Inc.

2003: Kate Moses, Wintering, St. Martin's Press

2002: Joyce Hackett, Disturbance of the Inner Ear, Carroll & Graf

2001: Edie Meidav, The Far Field: A Novel of Ceylon, Houghton Mifflin Company

2000: Carrie Brown, The Hatbox Baby, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill

1999: Susan Hubbard, Blue Money, University of Missouri Press

1998: Nicole Mones, Lost in Translation, Delacorte Press

1997: Cristina García, The Agüero Sisters, Alfred A. Knopf

1996: Kathleen Cambor, The Book of Mercy, Farrar, Straus & GirouxHous

1995: Melissa Pritchard, The Instinct for Bliss, Zoland Books Press

1994: Ann Patchett, Taft, Houghton Mifflin Company

1993: Sherri Szeman, The Kommandant’s Mistress, Harper Collins

1990: Valerie Martin, Mary Reilly, Doubleday & Company.

1990: Karen Tei Yamashita, Through the Arc of the Rain Forest, Coffee

1989: Marianne Wiggins, John Dollar, Harper & Row

1988: Kathryn Davis, Labrador, Farrar, Strauss & Giroux

1987: Gail Godwin, A Southern Family, Wm. Morrow & Company

1986: Hortense Calisher, The Bobby Soxer, Doubleday & Company

1985: Ursula LeGuin, Always Coming Home, Harper & Row

1984: Rosellen Brown, Civil Wars, Alfred A. Knopf

1983: Joan Chase, During the Reign of the Queen of Persia, Harper & Row

1982: Mary Lee Settle, The Killing Ground, Farrer, Straus & Giroux

1981: Mary Gordon, The Company of Women, Random House

1980: Anne Tyler, Morgan’s Passing, Alfred A. Knopf

1979: Barbara Chase-Riboud, Sally Hemings, Viking Press

1978: Mary Gordon, Final Payments, Random House

1977: Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon, Alfred A. Knopf

1976: Judith Guest, Ordinary People, Viking Press

1975: Jessamyn West, The Massacre at Fall Creek, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich


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