Barkat awards Norwegian author with Jerusalem Prize

‘During my schooling in the 1970s, stories from this region were of central importance,’ says Karl Ove Knausgård

June 12, 2017 01:11
2 minute read.
JERUSALEM MAYOR NIR BARKAT awards Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgård the 2017 Jerusalem Prize.

JERUSALEM MAYOR NIR BARKAT awards Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgård the 2017 Jerusalem Prize.. (photo credit: DAVID SAAD)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on Sunday awarded Norwegian literary sensation Karl Ove Knausgård with the Jerusalem Prize, which coincides with the opening of the capital’s four-day 28th biennial Jerusalem International Book Fair.

Dozens of authors from Israel and abroad, as well as some 300 international publishers and Israeli publishing houses, will take part in the fair, which has been held every two years since 1963 to connect publishers, editors, agents and scouts to Israeli authors.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

For the first time, it will take place in conjunction with Hebrew Book Week, and in collaboration with the Publishers Association, to encourage dialogue between Israeli and international publishers.

Prior to presenting the award to Knausgård, 48, whose autobiographical series of six novels titled My Struggle became an international sensation, Barkat noted the books’ indelible mark on modern literature.

“Mr. Karl Ove Knausgård, you are already a world-renowned author, and there is no doubt in my mind that the books that you will be writing will continue to be out-of-thebox thinking,” said Barkat to a packed auditorium at the Jerusalem YMCA.

“I know that one in 10 Norwegians have your books at home, which have been translated into 22 languages... so we are very proud that you were selected to win the Jerusalem Prize this year.”

Noting previous laureates, and his early interest and education in biblical studies, Knausgård said he was honored to receive the award from a city he has long studied and been fascinated by.

“The list of previous recipients reads like a catalogue of writers who I admire, who have inspired me, and who I have learned from,” he said.

“Jerusalem is a city that houses perhaps the most transformative and defining texts known to us. I grew up in Norway, a country which geographically, politically and culturally is a world apart from the Middle East. However, during my schooling in the 1970s, stories from this region were of central importance.

“In the classroom,” he continued, “we had three maps: One of Norway, one of the world, and one of biblical Israel.

We were as intimately familiar with Mount Sinai, Carmel, Jericho, the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea as we were with the landscapes surrounding us. And the tales from the Bible were as important to us as our own history.”

Indeed, Knausgård attributed the story of the ancient Israelites with inspiring his “emotional world with lessons on being human.”

Related Content

July 18, 2018
Knesset passes EpiPen law