Israeli writer Amos Oz wins Kafka literary award
PRAGUE - Agence France-Presse
Amos Oz named the winner of this year’s international Franz Kafka prize.Amos Oz, Israel’s best-known writer, was on May 27 named the winner of this year’s international Franz Kafka literary prize for his imaginative tales of life in the Jewish state.
Oz will receive the award and a $10,000 cheque at an October ceremony in Prague, the Franz Kafka Society, which organizes the annual award, said in a statement. The 74-year-old, born in Jerusalem to Polish and Russian parents, is known for his use of humor and imagination in work that has been translated into more than 40 languages.
Examples include the 1965 short story “Where the Jackals Howl,” his earliest fiction, and “A Tale of Love and Darkness” (2003), a heart-wrenching memoir of his mother’s suicide when he was 12 years old.
While still a teenager, the novelist and peace activist changed his last name from Klausner to Oz, Hebrew for strength and bravery.
Over the years, Oz has received numerous awards, including the Israel Prize for Literature in 1998 and Germany’s Goethe Prize in 2005.
Oz has received many honours, among them the Legion of Honour of France, the Prince of Asturias Award in Literature, the Heinrich Heine Prize. In 2007, a selection from the Chinese translation of A Tale of Love and Darkness was the first work of modern Hebrew literature to appear in an official Chinese textbook.
The Kafka prize, named after the famous Prague-born writer of such classics as “The Trial,” “Metamorphosis” and “The Castle,” was first awarded in 2001.
Previous winners include Japanese author Haruki Murakami, US novelist Philip Roth, British playwright Harold Pinter, French poet Yves Bonnefoy and Czech playwright Vaclav Havel.