Story at a glance

  • A new book called “Is Superman Circumcised?” about the Jewish influence on America’s greatest superhero won The Diagram prize for oddest book title in 2021.
  • The Diagram prize is a humorous literary award created by The Bookseller Magazine.
  • The public votes on who should be the winner with “Is Superman Circumcised” getting 51 percent of the vote this year.

“Is Superman Circumcised?” won a contest this year for the “oddest book title.” 

The award, dubbed The Diagram prize, has been granted every year since 2000 by The Bookseller magazine, a trade publication for the publishing industry. 

This year, author Roy Schwartz’s academic study on the Jewish origins of the iconic DC Comics hero “flew faster than a speeding bullet” to take home the title, according to The Bookseller’s website. 


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A public vote determines every year’s winner with “Is Superman Circumcised?” earning 51 percent of the vote this past fall, according to The Guardian. This year over 11,000 people, an almost record-setting turnout for the competition, chose to cast their ballot for The Diagram prize, the publication added. 

Second place went to “The Life Cycle of Russian Things: From Fish Guts to Fabergé” with 23 percent of the vote and third place went to the book “Miss, I Don’t Give a Shit” which received 10 percent of the public vote, according to the Bookseller’s site. 

Schwartz, an Israeli-born New Yorker explained to The Bookseller that his work dives into the Jewish influences on the “Mensch of Steel” starting with his creation by two immigrant teens named Jerry Siegel and Joe Schuster. Schwartz adds that the duo based Superman’s origin story “on Moses, his strength on Samson, his mission on the golem, and his nebbish secret identity on themselves.” 

“The competition was stiff, but I’m glad I was able to rise to the challenge,” Schwartz said in a statement. “I’m sincerely honored to receive this august literary prize. It’s a great reminder that even serious literature is allowed to be fun.” 

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Published on Dec 03, 2021