Cape Town - Despite being a landmark year for African writers, with four being nominated – including South Africa’s Marlene van Niekerk – the Man Booker International Prize was awarded to László Krasznahorkai.
The Hungarian writer, lauded as the modern-day Franz Kafka, received the prize at the official ceremony in London last night.
The prize is open to all works in English, or works which are translatable into English, and differs from the Man Booker Prize in that it recognises a body of work, rather than a single text.
This year, Krasznahorkai walked away with gold, and the whopping R716 000 that came with the honour of being the international laureate for 2015.
Surrounded by the other finalists, the panel of judges and audience, Krasznahorkai said he was “delighted” by the honour, and owed much of his inspiration to his literary hero, Kafka himself.
Before the winner was announced, each of the finalists was recognised, and Van Niekerk was hailed as the “author of two immense masterpieces” by the speaker, Edwin Frank.
At the time of the nomination announcement, Van Niekerk described being nominated as a surprise and a “huge privilege”.
Hungarian László Krasznahorkai, WINNER, lauréat 2015 Man Booker Prize International 2015 @ManBookerPrize #MBI2015 pic.twitter.com/IjPL3V8HK6— Alain Mabanckou (@amabanckou) May 20, 2015
Hungarian László Krasznahorkai, WINNER, lauréat 2015 Man Booker Prize International 2015 @ManBookerPrize #MBI2015 pic.twitter.com/IjPL3V8HK6
As of this year, Chinua Achebe remained the only African recipient of the Man Booker International, having been nominated twice, and winning once in 2007. At the time, judge Nadine Gordimer called him the “father of African literature”.
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