Amos Oz, Israel’s best-known writer, was on Monday named the winner of this year’s international Franz Kafka literary prize for his imaginative tales of life in the Jewish state.

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.

Over the years, Oz has received numerous awards, including the Israel Prize for Literature in 1998 and Germany’s Goethe Prize in 2005. The Kafka prize, named after the famous Prague-born writer of such classics as The Trial 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 and former president Vaclav Havel.

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