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SINCLAIR, JO

SINCLAIR, JO (1 July 1913-3 April 1995) was the pen name Ruth B. Seid used to write award-winning fiction. Sinclair won the biennial Harper publishing prize of $10,000 in 1946 for Wasteland, her first novel. Sinclair was born in Brooklyn, NY, the fifth child and third daughter of Ida Kravetsky Seid and Nathan Seid, Russian-Jewish immigrants. The family moved to Cleveland when Sinclair was 3. Sinclair graduated from John Hay High School as valedictorian (1930). She lived in CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, SHAKER HEIGHTS, and finally, on a farm on Fairmount Blvd. in Novelty, OH, at times sharing residences with Mr. and Mrs. Mort Buchman. In the early 1970s Sinclair moved to Philadelphia, PA.

During the 1930s and 1940s, Sinclair wrote and edited for the WPA and its Foreign Language Newspaper Digest project, and worked for a bookbindery and the AMERICAN RED CROSS, CLEVELAND CHAPTER. She published her first story in Esquire (January 1938), using her new pen name to undermine that magazine's policy of using only male writers. Later that year three other magazines (New Masses, Ken, Coronet) published her work. Sinclair wrote and published stories, novels, and plays about discrimination, diversity and prejudice against immigrants and minorities. Her story "The Red Necktie," published in Common Ground (Spring 1941), was included in a 1942 anthology, This Way to Unity, and was dramatized by Radio Stuttgart in Germany. Many of Sinclair's works were reprinted in foreign editions. In addition to the Harper prize, Sinclair won local and state awards: the Ohioana Award (1956) for The Changelings (1955), her 3rd novel; the Harry and Ethel Daroff Memorial fiction award from the Jewish Book Council (1956), and the first annual Cleveland Arts Prize from the WOMEN'S CITY CLUB of Cleveland (1961). The CLEVELAND PLAY HOUSE produced The Long Moment, a play by Sinclair, in 1951. Sinclair died in Jenkintown, PA.