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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 and writes often for publications including the New York Times and the Washington Post.


Raised outside Boston, he studied religion and literature at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Georgetown University, where he received his doctorate in 2013. He now lives with his family on a farm in Annapolis, Maryland.

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.