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Rivka Galchen’s novel Atmospheric Disturbances was a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and won the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. She holds an MD from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and an MFA from Columbia University, where she was a Robert Bingham Fellow. Her short story collection American Innovations was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and won the Danuta Gleed Literary Award. In 2015, she received a Guggenheim Fellowship. Galchen lives in New York.


Rivka Galchen, 2021 Atwood Gibson Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize finalist

Award History

2021 Finalist

Atwood Gibson Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize
for Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch

Jury Citation

"Rivka Galchen’s fiercely intelligent novel Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch chronicles a seventeenth-century accusation of witchcraft, but speaks with urgency to our world today. Katharina Kepler, the illiterate widow at the heart of the book – and mother to the famous mathematician – is wry, caustic, and wickedly funny as she dictates her defense. Risking torture, social ruin, and death, Katharina must navigate the perilousness of living in a world that denies her basic human rights. Here is a powerful indictment of misogyny, gossip, and the casual cruelty of crowds. Galchen’s novel shines with empathy and understanding, using the past to dissect and examine one of the essential crises of our time: the conflict between science and superstition, between what is true and what everyone believes to be true."

—2021 Atwood Gibson Writers' Trust Fiction Prize Jury (Rebecca Fisseha, Michelle Good, and Steven Price) 

2008 Finalist

Atwood Gibson Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize
for Atmospheric Disturbances