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Peter Manseau is a novelist, historian, and museum curator. He is the founding director of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History's Center for the Understanding of Religion in American History.

Winner of the National Jewish Book Award, the American Library Association's Sophie Brody Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Jewish Literature, the Ribalow Prize for Fiction, a National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, he has also been shortlisted for the Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize and the Prix Médicis étranger, awarded to the best foreign novel published in France.