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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
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
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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