Leora Skolkin-Smith was born in Manhattan in 1952, and spent her childhood between Pound Ridge, New York, and Israel, traveling with her family to her mother’s birthplace in Jerusalem every three years. She earned her BA and MFA and was awarded a teaching fellowship for graduate work, all at Sarah Lawrence. Her novels, “Hystera”, “Edges” and “The Fragile Mistress” were selected by Princeton University for their Series: “The Fertile Crescent Moon: women writers writing about their past in The Middle East”. Hystera was the winner of the 2012 USA Book Award and the 2012 Global E-books Award.Hystera was also a finalist in The International Book Awards, and a finalist in the National Indie Excellence Awards.
Her first published novel, Edges was edited and published by the late Grace Paley for Ms. Paley’s own imprint at Glad Day books.
Edges was nominated for the 2006 PEN/ Faulkner Award and The PEN/ Ernest Hemingway Award by Grace Paley; a National Women Studies Association Conference Selection; a Bloomsbury Review Pick, 2006: “Favorite Books of the Last 25 Years”; a Jewish Book Council Selection, 2005; and won the 2008 Earphones Award for an original audio production narrated by Tovah Feldshuh. In addition, it is currently in development as a feature film, produced by Triboro Pictures.
Leora was recently a panelist, on “Israel in Fiction” at the The Miami International Book Fair, 2006, and a panelist, on “War in Writing”, at the Virginia Festival of the Book, 2006. She is currently a contributing editor to readysteadybook.com. and her critical essays have been published in The Washington Post, The National Book Critic’s Circle’s Critical Mass, and other places.
HONORS & AWARDS
PEN/ Faulkner grant 2006 • Robert Gage Foundation grant 2005 • Art Without Walls grant 1998 • Vermont Studio Center resident 1996 • PEN American Center grant 1993 • Millay Colony for the Arts resident 1985 • New York State Council on the Arts grants • Con-Edison Foundation grant 1980, 1981, 1982 • Department of Cultural Affairs grant 1980, 1981 • Patricia Kind Foundation grant 1980 • Nomination by Grace Paley for the PEN/Faulkner for Fiction