Biography by Anna Porter among winners of Canadian Jewish Book Awards

Anna Porter is one of the Canadian authors whose works have been acclaimed this year for excellence in writing on Jewish themes and subjects.

Anna Porter's Kasztner's Train: The True Story of Rezso Kasztner, Unknown Hero of the Holocaust, is one of eight winners of the 20th annual Helen and Stan Vine Canadian Jewish Book Awards.

Porter's biography of Kasztner, who saved 1,684 Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust, has won the Joseph and Faye Tanenbaum Award in History. The biography was published by  Douglas & McIntyre.

The awards, announced by the Koffler Centre of the Arts in Toronto on Wednesday, celebrate excellence in Canadian writing reflecting Jewish themes and subjects.

A Sharp Intake of Breath by John Miller, published by the Dundurn Group, won the Beatrice and Martin Fischer Fiction Award. Miller's novel portrays a man born with a split lip and a cleft palate whose resentment slowly builds as he is ridiculed, abused and misled.

Tina Grimberg's Out of Line: Growing upSoviet, published by Tundra Books, won the Frances and Samuel Stein Memorial Award in Youth Literature. Grimberg's collection of short stories is based on her humorous and heartbreaking memories of growing up Jewish in Kiev, behind the Iron Curtain.

They Called Me Mayer July: Painted Memories of a Jewish Childhood in Poland before the Holocaust by Mayer Kirshenblatt and Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett won the Samuel and Rose Cohen Memorial Award in Biography. Published by the University of California Press, it's a memoir of a Jewish neighbourhood in Poland before the Second World War,

James Diamond's Converts, Heretics and Lepers: Maimonides and theOutsider, published by University of Notre Dame Press, has won the Abe and Fay Bergel Award in Scholarship on a Jewish Subject.

Marc Miller's Representing the Immigrant Experience: Morris Rosenfeld and the Emergence of Yiddish Literature in America, published by Syracuse University Press, has won the Abraham and Eve Trapunski Award in Yiddish Literature.

Laike and Nahum: a Poem in Two Voices by Ruth Panofsky, published by Inanna Publications and Education Inc., has won the Canadian Jewish Award in Poetry.

Henia Reinhartz's Bits and Pieces, published by the Azrieli Foundation, has won the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem Award in Holocaust Memoir and Literature.

The awards will be presented June 4 at the Leah Posluns Theatre in Toronto.