2017 Man Booker International Prize Announced

The Man Booker Prize Foundation in London has just announced the winner of this year’s Man Booker International Prize. The 2017 prize goes to Israeli writer David Grossman and translator Jessica Cohen for A Horse Walks into a Bar published by Jonathan Cape. Bravo to author and translator! For more information about the winning book and the others on this year’s shortlist, see the website of the Man Booker Prizes. At the prize ceremony, translator Jessica Cohen spoke (starting at 13:45) movingly about all the great literature coming out of Israel at a time when there hasn’t been much good news at all coming from that country, and announced that she would be donating half of her prize money (quite a sum – the prize comes with a £50,000 purse that’s split equally between writer and translator) to B’Tselem, an organization that champions human rights and exposes violations in the occupied territories of the West Bank and Gaza. “It’s not easy,” she said, “to tell unflattering and uncomfortable truths, and it’s certainly not easy to hear them, but it is essential, not only in literature, but in life, and I hope that organizations like B’Tselem can continue to do so.” Jessica, you represent the best of what we are. Thank you, and my most heartfelt congratulations.

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