I’m pleased to report that my friend Ariel Sabar has won this year’s NBCC award (best autobiography) for My Father’s Paradise: A Son’s Search for His Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq (Algonquin). We only lived in the same town for a short time, but it was long enough to get to know Ariel and his family as kind, thoughtful people; that would be reason enough for me, but on top of that I got a glimpse into how hard he and his family worked to bring this book to completion. Not to suggest that the others authors didn’t work as hard, or make similar sacrifices, but when you see it happening in the lives of people you know personally, it’s that much more rewarding to see that hard work pay off.
On top of that, it’s a great book. I recommend you check it out.