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Man Booker International: Africa loses out

2015-05-20 12:43

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”.

Fellow finalist Alain Mabanckou took to Twitter to congratulate Krasznahorkai, posting a picture of them together.

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”.

This year, the Man Booker International Prize organisers were praised for their choice of writers from all over the globe, and for recognising more authors from Africa. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

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